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The Monk Sir Froissait iii the Uitidi of the Monibteiy Wall. 

[ See Page. 75. 



BoY's Froissart 

Sir John Froissarts Chronicles 

Adventure Battle and Custom in 
England France Spain etc. 



Illustrated by Alfred Kappes 

\.0;^ 18T9. ^/ 
NEW-YORK \Z^p^^^'-'0t::^ 


743 & 745 Broadway 



Copyright, 1879, 


"OERHAPS no boy will deny that to find the world still 
reading a book which was written five hundred years 
a :9 is a very wonderful business. For the world grows, — 
faster than a boy ; and when you remember how it is only 
: ' out ten years since you were reading Jack the Giant- 
iler, and how you are infinitely beyond all that now, — you 
.ow, — you readily see that it must be a very manful man 
;deed who can make a book so strong and so all-time like 
to go on giving delight through the ages, spite of prodi- 
.ous revolutions in customs, in governments, and in ideas. 
Now, Froissart sets the boy's mind upon manhood and 
tue man's mind upon boyhood. In reading him the young 
soul sifts out for itself the splendor, the hardihood, the dar- 
ing, the valor, the generosity, the boundless conflict and 
unhindered action, which make up the boy's early ideal of 
the man ; while a more mature reader goes at once to his 
simplicity, his gayety, his passion for deeds of arms, his 
freedom from consciousness and from all internal debate — 
in short, his boyishness. Thus Froissart helps youth for- 
ward and age backward. 

With this enchanting quality, by which he not only 
defies, but even reverses, the passage of time, our fine Sir 
John has always had and will long have readers, both old 
and young; and if it were not for some peculiarities of 



his manner, growing mainly out of the habits of his time, 
there would be no need of any special edition of him for 
boys. But the latter sort find many halting-places and 
many skipping-places in him, by reason of his long dia- 
logues, his tranquil way of telling all the particulars, and 
his gay habit of often relating events in chapter fifty which 
happened before those in chapter forty. The first two of 
these faults were virtues in Froissart's day, when the 
longer a story the better it helped to pass the time be- 
tween battles ; and the last one probably arose from the 
manner in which he collected many of his facts, — which 
was as follows. 

'You must know that in the year 1357 this lively young 
Hainaulter, being at that time but about twenty years old, 
was asked by the Count Robert de Namur to write a his- 
tory of the wars of those times. The idea tickled his 
fancy, and he went sti'aightway to work. 

' If any of yoii, should set about writing a history, you 
would most likely go up into the library, take down a great 
many books, pamphlets, and manuscripts, and pore and 
peer and scribble, until after a while when your back was 
aching and your eyes burning you would look at your 
watch and say, "Bless me! it's two o'clock in the morn- 
ing," and so to bed ; and such would be your day's work 
until the history was finished. But not so with our young 
Froissart. Instead of painfully burrowing among dusty 
books, he^ saddled his horse, strapped on his portman- 
teau behind, and cantered off along the road through the 
bright French air, with his faithful greyhound following.* 

* Froissart's own cunning little poem of Le Debat don Cheval et dou Lev- 
rUr, recently printed for the first time by M. Buclion, gives such a picture of 
himseH : — 

" Frolssars d'Escoce revenoit 
Sus un cheval qui gris estoit; 
Un blanc levrier menoit en lasse." 

hitrodudion. vii 

Presently he was pretty sure to overtake or be over- 
taken by some knight or esquire : whereupon Froissart 
would salute him, politely inquire his name, and ply him 
with artful questions as to the battles he had fought, the 
lords he had served, the negotiations he had conducted or 
assisted in, the events he had witnessed or heard of ; and 
thus the two would converse by the way, the horses mean- 
time embracing the opportunity to slacken pace, and the 
greyhound taking his chance to nose about here and there 
on each side the road. When the inn or friendly castle 
would be reached where lodgment was to be had in the 
evening, Froissart would jot down notes of all that he had 
learned from fellow-travellers during the day. Sometimes 
such a journey would terminate in a long visit at the castle 
of a great man, — as when he went to see the Count of 
Foix, referred to in the Third Book of these Chronicles ; 
and then in the long evenings he would learn, either from 
the actors themselves or from knights or attendants about 
their persons, the deeds and events with which they had 
been connected. 

Although from Hainault, he was much in England. He 
loved the society of the great, and was often in it. He 
was at different times attached to the households of King 
Edward HI. of England, and of King John of France ; 
and became an especial favorite of his countrywoman 
Queen Philippa, wife to Edward HI., who made him the 
Clerk of her Chamber. He had various offices and pre- 
ferments, but is most commonly associated with the 
Church of Chimay in France, of which he was canon. 
He knew how to please his powerful friends : when he 
visited the Count of Foix, — who loved dogs, and had six- 
teen hundred of them about him, — he carried four grey- 
hounds as a present to that nobleman ; he bore a beautiful 


copy of his love-poem "Meliador" to Richard II. of Eng- 
land ; he presented the earlier portions of his Chronicles 
to Queen Philippa, who was fond of letters. 

He was romantic and poetical. It would seem that he 
began his travels early, in order to escape the torments of 
an unfortunate love for a certain lady which had attacked 
him when a mere boy, and which endured with more or 
less strength for some time. He was engaged in writing 
his Chronicles from the year 1357 certainly to the year 
1400, for they include events up to the latter date. With- 
out burdening my young readers' minds, there are three 
names of great Englishmen which I cannot forbear beg- 
ging them to associate with this jDcriod. These are, the 
names of Geoffrey Chaucer, who wrote the " Canterbury 
Tales " and many other works ; of William Langland, or 
Langley, who probably wrote the wonderful " Book con- 
cerning Piers the Plowman ; " and of John Wyclif, who did 
the greatest service both for our religion and our language 
by giving forth the first complete translation of the Bible 
into English. Three large and beautiful souls ; so large 
and beautiful, that one could scarcely frame a finer wish 
for any boy than that he should make friends with them, 
and live with them when he becomes a man. 

Froissart did not confine himself to history : he wrote 
many poems, — rondeaus, virelays, pastorals, romances. 
'He lived a bright, genial, active, fruitful, and happy life ; 
and died after the year 1400. 

As you read of the fair knights and the foul knights, — 
for Froissart tells of both, — it cannot but occur to you 
that somehow it seems harder to be a good knight nowa- 
days than it was then. This is because we have so many 
more ways of fighting now than in King Edward the 
Third's time. A good deal of what is really combat now- 


adays is not called combat. Many struggles, instead of 
taking the form of sword and armor, will present them- 
selves to you after a few years in the following shapes : 
the strict payment of debts ; the utmost delicacy of na- 
tional honor ; the greatest openness of party discussion, 
and the most respectful courtesy towards political oppo- 
nents ; the purity of the ballot-box ; the sacred and liberal 
guaranty of all rights to all citizens ; the holiness of mar- 
riage ; the lofty contempt for what is small, knowing, 
and gossipy ; and the like. Nevertheless the same qual- 
ities which made a manful fighter then make one now. 
To speak the very truth ; to perform a promise to the 
uttermost ; to reverence all women ; to maintain right and 
honesty ; to help the weak ; to treat high and low with 
courtesy ; to be constant to one love ; to be fair to a bit- 
ter foe ; to despise luxury ; to preserve simplicity, mod- 
esty, and gentleness in heart and bearing : this was in 
the oath of the young knight who took the stroke upon 
him in the fourteenth century, and this is still the way to 
win love and glory in the nineteenth. 

You will find all these elements of knighthood which I 
have just named particularly puzzling in many affairs con- 
nected with money. This was always so : indeed, I can- 
not help somewhat sadly reminding you that as you read 
along in these Chronicles of Froissart's you will here and 
there perceive how money is already creeping into the 
beautiful institution of knighthood in the fourteenth cen- 
tury and corrupting it. After each battle related in this 
book, Froissart is pretty apt to say something about the 
great wealth acquired by this or that fighter through the 
ransom paid him by or for such prisoners as he took. In 
other words, war is becoming a trade ; and in succeeding 
centuries of European history the young student will 


quickly notice tliat the great organized armies were no 
wliit less thieves and rascals than the rogues who com- 
posed the Free Companies about whom Froissart will pres- 
ently speak. The fair ideal of the knight-errant, as he 
who goes forth in the world to help every one that may 
need him, and who despises wealth and personal ease 
whenever they interfere with this great object — an ideal 
which is presented to us in Sir Lancelot, and, less finely, 
in other knights of the Round Table — grows dim. 

And here I could do no better service to the American 
boy of the present day than by calling his attention to a 
certain curious and interesting connection between these 
present Chronicles of Froissart and Sir Thomas Malory's 
History of King Arthur and the knights of the Round 
Table, which was written in the following century and 
which must some day come to be known more widely than 
now as one of the sweetest and strongest books in our 

The connection I mean is this : that Froissart's Chroni- 
cle is, in a grave and important sense, a sort of contin- 
uation of Malory's novel. For Malory's book is, at bot- 
tom, a picture of knighthood in the twelfth and thirteenth 
centuries ; while Froissart's is a picture of knighthood 
in the fourteenth century. It is true that Malory's King 
Arthur is a personage, if not fabulous, at least unhistori- 
cal, while Froissart's Edward III. is actual flesh and blood, 
and is almost in sight ; it is true that Froissart gives us 
real events occurring in definite localities during the last 
three-quarters of the fourteenth century, while Malory 
drags Joseph of Arimathea alongside of Merlin the Magi- 
cian, and sets Briton, Saxon,, Frenchman, Scotch- 
man, Irishman, Welshman, and Saracen face to face in 
scenes which often defy place and time : yet it is no less 


true that Froissart's work is a continuation of Malory's, 
since what Malory gives us is substantially a view of life 
in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, which Froissart 
follows with a view of life in the fourteenth century. A 
boy who reflects that Sir Thomas Malory wrote a hundred 
years later than Froissart will be puzzled to know how he 
comes to give a picture of chivalry a hundred years earlier, 
until certain facts appear which show in what manner Sir 
Thomas Malory's book was made, and what were the habits 
of the writers whom he followed. 

About the year 1 147 all England was delighted with a 
narration which was published by Geoffrey of Monmouth, 
concerning the deeds of a glorious man whom Geoffrey 
declared to have been an old king of that country, and 
whose name he gave as Arthur. Geoffrey, who was a 
Welsh priest living in England at that time, declared 
that he had found this account of King Arthur in a Welsh 
book, and gave it as true history. Whether history or 
fable, — upon this modern opinion is divided, — his story 
of the great knight Arthur so charmed the people that 
the poets and prose-writers, not only of England, but of 
France, straightway took hold of it, turned it into verse, 
amplified it, added to it, retold it in long prose tales, and 
in various ways spread it abroad, until there came to be 
what is called a cycle — that is, a connected ring — of 
Arthurian romances. In this cycle all the prominent 
characters of the modern story made their appearance : 
besides King Arthur, the fascinated world read of Sir 
Lancelot du Lake, of Queen Guenever, of Sir Tristram, 
of Queen Isolde, of Merlin, of Sir Gawaine, of the Lady 
of the Lake, of Sir Galahad, and of the wonderful search 
for the Holy Cup called the "Saint Graal," which was said 
to have received the blood that flowed from the wounds of 
our Saviour when he hung on the cross. 



I hope that every boy will hereafter become acquainted 
with the names of many of these old writers who contrib- 
uted to the collection of romances that make up the 
Arthurian cycle ; but for the present, without perplexing 
young minds with a long list, I wish to impress four of 
these names upon your memories. They are Wace, Laya- 
inon, De Borron, and Walter Map. I should wish particu- 
larly that my young readers would remember the name of 
Layamon, because he wrote his account of King Arthur 
in English, and is therefore to be reverenced as the sturdy 
poet who made a great stand for our native tongue after 
William the Conqueror had imposed his French dialect 
upon us. 

But now to come to Sir Thomas Malory. These stories 
of King Arthur, and Sir Lancelot, and Sir Tristram, and 
Merlin, written by Wace, and Layamon, and Map, and 
others, were, as I said, carried about and read with great 
delight through England and France during the thirteenth 
and fourteenth centuries ; and the important point to 
remember here is that the writers who developed them 
from the original stock furnished by Geoffrey of Mon- 
mouth, although professing to tell of things which hap- 
pened in the early centuries of our era, really did nothing 
more than present a picture of their own times — that is, 
of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries — in which nothing 
was ancient but the names of the figures. This was a 
notable custom of all the middle-age artists, not only of 
the artists in words — the poets and prose tale-tellers — 
but even of the later artists who drew and painted actual 
pictures. Just as an old picture-maker would represent 
King Solomon in a costume of the ninth century ; or as 
the old writer of Arthurian romances speaks of the Bib- 
lical Joshua as Duke Joshua, thus bringing the old Jew 

Introduction. xiii 

before us with a title some thousands o£ years younger 
than his name : so these twelfth and thirteenth century 
writers merely took the characters of Geoffrey of Mon- 
mouth's story and clothed them as mediaeval knights and 
ladies, while they re-arranged the events similarly into 
such relations as accorded with their own times. Now, 
in the fifteenth century. Sir Thomas Malory re-arranged 
this series of stories about King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, Sir 
Tristram, the Round Table, and the Holy Cup, which had 
been written in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and 
which were really pictures of life in those centuries, though 
grouped about legendary figures ; while Sir John Frois- 
sart wrote chronicles which present us pictures of life 
grouped about the historic characters of his own four- 
teenth century. 

But though, as I said, the ideal of knighthood begins to 
be lowered in Froissart by the temptations of ransom- 
money, there are still many beautiful features of it which 
come out with perfect colors in these following chroni- 
cles. The kingliness of Edward III. ; the stern lessons 
of hardihood, of self-help, and of perseverance unto the 
end, which he teaches his son Edward in refusing to 
send him re-enforcements when he is so dreadfully bested 
before Crecy ; the beautiful courtesy and modesty with 
which this same young Edward attends upon King John 
of France at supper in his own tent on the night after he 
had taken the king prisoner and routed his army at Poic- 
tiers ; the pious reverence with which Sir Walter Manny 
seeks out the grave of his father ; the energy with which 
the stout abbot of Hennecourt hews, whacks, and pulls 
the blooded knights about ; the frequent expostulations 
of generous gentlemen against the harsh treatment of 
prisoners ; the prayer of the queen in favor of the citizens 

xiv - Introduction. 

of Calais, and King Edward's knightly concession to her 
ladyhood ; the splendor and liberality of the Count de 
Foix ; the unconquerable loyalty of Sir Robert Salle, who 
prefers a brave death at the hands of Wat Tyler's rebels, 
to the leadership of their army ; the dash and gallantry of 
the young Saracen Agadinquor Oliferne, who flies about 
like a meteor before the besieging crusaders round about 
the town of Africa : these, and many fine things of like 
sort, will not fail to strike the most inexperienced eyes. 

My main task in editing this book for you has been to 
choose connected stories which would show you as many 
of the historic figures in Froissart as possible ; though 
I have tried to preserve at the same time the charm which 
lies in his very rambling manner. I have not altered his 
language at all. Every word in this book is Froissart's ; 
except of course that he wrote in French, and his words 
are here translated into English. A very noble translation 
was made in the time of King Henry the Eighth, by Lord 
Berners, whose name I hope you will remember. I should 
have greatly preferred to give you his Froissart for the 
present edition : it is beautiful English, and infinitely 
stronger, brighter, and more picturesque, than the transla- 
tion here used ; but it would have been difficult for you to 
read. Yet, in order that you might see what the English 
of King Henry the Eighth's time looks like, I have given a 
chapter of Lord Berners', on the battle of Crecy, without 
alteration ; and, believing that many of my young readers 
who may be studying French might be curious to read a 
little of that language in one of its earlier stages, I have 
added the same chapter in French from the manuscripts 
printed by Buchon. For similar reasons, at the chapter 
describing the battle of Neville's Cross, I have added an 
old English ballad upon the same fight, giving it unaltered 


from Messrs. Hales and Furnivall's edition of BiShop 
Percy's Manuscript. 

Again, when the Chronicle reaches King Richard II., 
I have ernbraced the opportunity to show you the kind of 
English which was spoken in Froissart's time, by adding 
to one of the chapters the robust " Ballad sent to King 
Richard" by Geoffrey Chaucer, — begging you to believe 
that our time cries out to every young American man, as 
Chaucer to his prince, to 

" Do law, love truth and worthiness, 
And wed thy folk again to steadfastness." 

Finally, do not think that to read this book is to exhaust 
Froissart. Only about one-ninth of his Chronicle could 
be got into the space here assigned ; and you have the 
comfort of knowing that there is a great deal more. 

To him, then ; and I envy every one of you ! 

"For herein," —as old William Caxton, the first Eng- 
lish printer, says in his Prologue to Sir Thomas Malory's 
history of King Arthur, — " for herein may be seen chy- 
valrye, curtosye, humanyte, frendlynesse, hardynesse, love, 
frendshyp, cowardyse, murdre, hate, vertue, synne. Doo 
after the good, and leve the evil, and it shall bring you to 
good fame and renommee." 

Sidney Lanier. 

Baltimore, Md., 1S79. 




The Occasion of the Wars between the Kings of France 

AND England i 

How Earl Thomas of Lancaster, and Twenty-two of the 


The Queen of England goes to complain of Sir Hugh Spencer 

TO her Brother, the King of France 4 

Sir Hugh Spencer causes the Queen Isabella to be sent out 

OF France 5 

The Queen Isabella leaves France, and goes to Germany . 6 

Queen Isabella arrives in England with Sir John de Hai- 


The Queen of England besieges her Husband in the City of 

Bristol 11 

The King of England and Sir Hugh Spencer are taken at 
Sea as they are endeavoring to escape from the Castle 
Ob' Bristol 13 


xviil Co7itents. 

The Coronation of King Edward the Third . . • .16 

Robert Bruce, King of Scotland, defies King Edward . . 18 

A Dissension between the Archers of England and the 

Hainaulters 20 

How the Fight between the Archers and the Hainaulters 

ended 22 

How THE King and his Army marched to Durham ... 24 

Of the Manners of the Scots, and how they carry on War 25 

King Edward's First Expedition against the Scots ... 26 

King Edward marries the Lady Philippa of Hainault . . 40 

Douglas is killed fighting for the Heart of King Robert . 42 

Philip of Valois crowned King of France 46 

King Edward is advised by his Council to make War against 
King Philip of France. He effects great Alliances in 
Germany, and is made Vicar of the Empire ... 47 

King Edward and his Allies send Challenges to the King 

of France 49 

Contents. xix 



King Edward creates Sir Henry of Flanders a Knight, and 

afterwards marches into picardy 50 


The Two Kings retire from Vironfosse without giving Battle 56 

The Sea-Fight between the King of England and the French, 

before Sluys 58 

The King of England besieges the City of Tournay with a 

Powerful Army 62 

The Scots recover Great Part of their Country during the 

Siege of Tournay 64 

Sir William de Bailleul and Sir Vauflart de la Croix make 
an Excursion to Pont-I-Tressin . . . .68 

The Earl of Hainault attacks the Fortress of Mortagne in 
Various Manners .......... 71 


The Earl of Hainault takes the Town of St. Amand during 

the Siege of Tournay 73 

Sir Charles de Montmorency, and many others of the 
French, captured at Pont-1-Tressin 77 

The Siege of Tournay raised by Means of a Truce . . 80 

King Edward institutes the Order of St. George, at Windsor 82 

XX Contents. 

The King of England sets at Liberty Sir Herve de Leon . 83 

The King of England sends the Earl of Derby to make 

War in Gascony 85 

The Earl of Derby conquers Bergerac 88 

The Count de Lisle, Lieutenant for the King of France, in 

Gascony, lays Siege to the Castle of Auberoche . . 93 


The Earl of Derby makes the Count of Lisle and nine more 

Counts and Viscounts Prisoners before Aui;eroche . . 96 

The Earl of Derby takes Different Towns in Gascony, in 

his Road toward La Reole 99 

The Earl of Derby lays Siege to La Reole, which surrenders 

TO him 103 

Sir Walter Manny finds in La Reole the Sepulchre of his 

Father 106 

The Earl of Derby conquers the Castle of La Reole . . 108 

The Earl of Derby takes Castel Moron, and afterwards 

Villefranche, in Perigord no 

Jacob von Artaveld is murdered at Ghent . . . • "3 

Contents. xxi 



Sir John of Hainault quits the Alliance of England for 

THAT OF France 117 


The Duke of Normandy marches with a great Army into 

Gascony, against the Earl of Derby 117 

Sir John Norwich escapes from Angouleme, when that Town 

surrenders to the french ii9 

The Duke of Normandy lays Siege to Aiguillon with a 

HUNDRED thousand MeN 122 

The King of England marches into Normandy with his Army 

in three Battalions 129 

The King of France collects a large Force to oppose the 

King of England . .131 


The Battle of Caen. — The English take the Town . . 134 

The English commit great Depredations in Normandy. — Sir 
Godfrey de Harcourt encounters the Men at Arms of 
Amiens, on their Way to Paris, and King Edward marches 


The King of France pursues the King of England, in the 

Country of Beauvais 141 

The BATfLE of Blanchetaque, between the King of England 

AND Sir Godemar du Fay i.t4 

xxii Contents. 



The Order of Battle of the English at Crecy, who were 


The Order of the French Army at Crecy 150 

The Battle of Crecy, between the Kings of France and of 
England ... 152 

The English on the Morrow again defeat the French . . 166 

The English number the Dead slain at the Battle of Crecy 167 

The King of England lays Siege to Calais. — The Poorer 

Sort of the Inhabitants are sent out of it . . . 169 

The Duke of Normandy raises the Siege of Aiguillon . . 170 

Sir Walter Manny, by Means of a Passport, rides through 

France from Aiguillon to Calais 172 

The King of Scotland, during the Siege of Calais, invades 

England 174 

The Battle of Neville's Cross 176 

John Copeland takes the King of Scotland Prisoner, and 


Contents. xxiii 



The young Earl of Flanders is betrothed, through the Con- 
straint OF the Flemings, to the Daughter of the King 
OF England. — He escapes to France in a Subtle Manner i86 

The King of England prevents the Approach of the French 
Army to raise the Siege of Calais, and the Town sur- 
renders 190 

The King of England re-peoples Calais 198 

A Robber of the Name of Bacon does much Mischief in 
Languedoc, and a Page of the Name of Croquart turns 
Robber ... 200 

Sir Aymery de Pavie plots with Sir Geoffry de Chargny to 

sell the Town of Calais 203 

The Battle of Calais, between the King of England, under 
the Banner of Sir Walter Manny, with Sir Geoffry de 
Chargny and the French 204 


The King of England presents a Chaplet of Pearls to Sir 

Eustace de Ribeaumont 209 

The Sea-Fight off Sluys. (From the Manuscript in the 

Hafod Library) 210 

The Death of King Philip, and Coronation of his Son King 

John 217 

The King of France issues out a Summons for assembling an 
Army to combat the Prince of Wales, who was over- 
running THE Province of Derby 318 

xxiv Contents. 


The Prince of Wales takes the Castle of Romorantin . .221 

The King of France leads a great Army to the Battle of 

Poitiers 223 


The Disposition of the French before the Battle of Poitiers 226 

The Cardinal de Perigord endeavors to make Peace between 
the King of France and the Prince of Wales, previous 
to the Battle of Poitiers 230 

The Battle of Poitiers, between the Prince of Wales and 

the King of France ......... 233 

Two Frenchmen, running away from the Battle of Poitiers, 


MADE Prisoners 242 

The Manner in which King John was taken Prisoner at 

THE Battle of Poitiers 244 


The Prince of Wales makes a Handsome Present to the 

Lord James Audley, after the Battle of Poitiers . . 248 

The Prince of Wales entertains the King of France at 

Supper, the Evening after the Battle 250 

The Prince of Wales returns to Bordeaux, after the Battle 

of Poitiers ... 252 


The Prince of Wales conducts the King of France from 

Bordeaux to England 256 

Contents. xxv 



The Archpriest assembles a Company of Men at Arms. — He 

IS much honored at Avignon 258 

A Welshman, of the Name of Ruffin, commands a Troop of 

the free Companies 259 

The Provost of the Merchants of Paris kills three Knights 

in the Apartment of the Prince 260 

The Commencement of the infamous Jacquerie of Beauvoisis 262 

The Battle of Meaux in Brie, where the Villains are dis- 
comfited BY the Earl of Foix and the Captal of Buch . 264 


Coronation of King Charles of France 266 

A Combat between an English and a French Squire . . 268 

The Populace of England rebel against the Nobility . . 274 

The Populace of England commit many Cruelties on those 
IN Official Situations. — They send a Knight as Ambas- 
sador to the King 278 

The Nobles of England are in great Danger of being 
DB6TR0YED. — Three of the principal Leaders of the 
Rebels are Punished, and the Rest sent back to their 
Homes 284 

XXVI Contents. 


The Earl of Flanders again lays Siege to Ghent . . 296 

The Earl of Flanders sends a Harsh Answer to those who 


The Citizens of Ghent, after having heard from Philip von 
Artaveld the Terms of Peace which he had brought 
from the Conferences at Tournay, march out, to the 
Number of Five Thousand, to ati-ack the Earl of Flan- 
ders in Bruges 300 

The Order of Battle of the Ghent Men. — They defeat the 
Earl of Flanders and the Men of Bruges. — The Means 

BY which this was BROUGHT ABOUT 303 

Bruges is taken by the Ghent Army. — The Earl of Flanders 

saves himself in the House of a poor Woman . . 309 


The Earl of Flanders quits Bruges, and returns to Lille, 

whither some of his People had already retreated . 314 

The Duke of Burgundy instigates his Nephew King Charles 
TO make War on Ghent and its Allies, as well in Revenge 


Flanders for the Earl, who was his Vassal . . .315 

Charles the Sixth, King of France, from a Dream, chooses 

a flying Hart for his Device 317 

King Cilvrles, at the Instigation of the Earl of Flanders, 
WHO was present, assembles his Army in Artois against 
the Flemings. — Philip von Artaveld guards the Passes 
INTO Flanders 319 

Contents. xxvii 



Several Knights of the Tarty of the Earl of Flanders, 


THEIR Attempt to repass it, the Flemings having broken 


YppvEs, makes Use of it to encourage the Inhabitants . 321 

The Order of the French Army in its March to Flanders, 
after they had heard the Bridges were broken and 
guarded 325 

Some Few of the French, not being able to cross the Lis 
at the Bridge of Commines, find means of doing so by 
Boats and other Craft, unknown to the Flemings . . 330 

A Small Body of French, having crossed the Lis, draw up 

IN Battle-Array before the Flemings 335 

The French who had crossed the Lis defeat, with great 
Slaughter, Peter du Bois and the Flemings. — The Van- 
guard OF the French Army repair and pass over the 
Bridge of Commines 339 

The King of France crosses the Lis at the Bridge of Com- 
mines. —The Town of Ypres surrenders to him. — The 
King of France lodges in Ypres. — Peter du Bois pre- 
vents Bruges from surrendering to the King. — Philip 
von Artaveld assembles his Forces to combat the 
French • ... 344 

Philip von Artaveld, having entertained his Captains at 
Supper, gives them Instructions how they are to act on 
the Morrow at the Battle of Rosebecque . . . .347 

xxviii Contents. 



Philip von Artaveld and his Flemings quit the strong 
Position they had taken in the Morning, to encamp on 
Mont d'Or, near to Ypres. — The Constable and Admiral 
OF France, with Sir William of Poitiers, set out to re- 
connoitre their Situation 351 

The Battle of Roseeecque, between the French and Flem- 
ings. — Philip von Artaveld is slain, and his whole Army 
defeated 354 

The Number of Slain at the Battle of Rosebecque, and 
Pursuit afterwards. — Philip von Artaveld is hanged 
after he was dead 359 


Froissart sets out on Journey to Bearn to seek Admission 

TO the Household of the Count de Foix . ' . .361 

Sir John Froissart, in his Journey toward Bearn, is accom- 
panied BY A Knight attached to the Count de Foix, who 
relates to him how the garrison of Lourde took Ortingas 
and Le Pallier, on the Renewal of the War in Guyenne, 
after the Rupture of the Peace of Bretigny . . . 363 

Froissart continues his Journey. — In travelling from Tour- 
nay TO Tarees, the Knight relates to him how the Gar- 
rison OF Lourde had a Sharp Rencounter with the 
French from the adjacent Garrisons 367 

Sir John Froissart arrives at Orthes. — An old Squire re- 
lates to him the cruel Death of the only Son of the 
Count de Foix 072 

Contents. xxix 




The Duke of Bourbon is appointed Chief of an Expedition 
TO Africa, that is undertaken by several Knights of 
France and England at the Solicitation of the Genoese . 382 


The Christian Lords weigh Anchor, and leave the Island of 
CoMiNo, IN Order to lay Siege to the Town of Africa. — 
The Manner in which they conduct themselves . . 387 

The Conduct of the Saracens during the Siege of the Town 
of Africa. — They send to demand from the French the 
Cause of their making War against them .... 398 

Some Miracles are shown to the Saracens as they attempt 
to attack the Camp of the Christians. — Several Skir- 
mishes during the Siege. — The Climate becomes unwhole- 
some, and other Accidents befall the Besiegers . . . 403 

A Challenge is sent by the Saracens to offer Combat of ten 

GAGEMENT. — The Town of Africa is stormed, but unsuc- 
cessfully, and WITH THE LOSS OF MANY WORTHY MeN . . 407 

The Siege of Africa is raised. — The Cause of it. — The 

Knights and Squires return to their own Countries . 414 

Death and Burial ok King Richard II. .... 421 



The Monk Sir Froissart in the Breach of the Monas- 
tery Wall Frontispiece. 

Lord James Douglas throwing the Heart of Bruce 


How Sir William Douglas and his Companions cap- 
tured the Castle of Edinburgh by Stratagem . (y'] 

How the French flung a Servant over the Walls 

into Auberoche 95 

The Death of Jacob von Artaveld 115 

King Edward III. praying in' his Tent the Night be- 
fore the Battle of Crecy 149 

The Blind King of Bohemia dead on the Battle-Field 

OF Crecy 155 

How the six Citizens of Calais delivered themselves 

up to the English King 197 

The Surrender of King John of France. . . . 245 

The three Knights reconnoitring the Flemings in the 

Mist 353 

How the Bourg d'Espaign fed the Fire in the great 

Fire-Place of the Count of Foix . . . -371 

How a wonderful Apparition terrified the Sara- 
cens 403 





The Occasion of the Wars between the Kings of France and 

HISTORY tells us that Philip, King of France, sur- 
named the Fair, had three sons, besides his beauti- 
ful daughter Isabella married to the King of England. 
These three sons were very handsome. The eldest, Lewis, 
King of Navarre during the lifetime of his father, was 
called Lewis Hutin ; the second was named Philip the 
Great, or the Long ; and the third, Charles. All these 

* Froissart's Chronicles were written in four volumes, or books. The 
parts I have taken froria the first book cover a period of about thirty years, 
counting from the coronation of the young King Edward the Third of Eng- 
land in the year 1326 to the battle of Poitiers in the year 1356. The times 
covered by the other three books will be given as we come to them. 

I have thought that the young readers of Froissart would care to know 
exactly how it was that such a wonderful amount of fighting had to be done 
during the fourteenth century, in England, France, and Flanders, as is de- 
scribed in this book ; and I have therefore devoted the first forty or fifty 
pages to such extracts as would inform them upon the causes of these terri- 
ble and long-continued wars. — Ed. 


Froissart's Chronicles. 

were kings of France after their father Phihp by legiti- 
mate succession, one after the other, without having any- 
male heirs : yet on the death of the last king, Charles, 
the twelve peers and barons of France did not give the 
kingdom to Isabella the sister, who was Queen of Eng- 
land, because they maintained, and do still insist, that 
the kingdom of France is too noble to go to a woman, 
consequently either to Isabella, or to her son the King of 
England ; for they hold that the son of a woman cannot 
claim any right of succession where that woman has none 
herself. For these reasons the twelve peers and barons of 
France unanimously gave the kingdom of France to the 
Lord Philip of Valois, nephew to King Philip ; and so put 
aside the Queen of England, who was sister to Charles, 
the late King of France, and her son. Thus, as it seemed 
to many people, the succession went out of the right line, 
which has been the occasion of the most destructive wars 
and devastations of countries in France and elsewhere, as 
you will learn hereafter : the real object of this history 
being to relate the grand enterprises and deeds of arms 
achieved in these great wars ; for, from the time of good 
Charlemagne, King of France, never were such feats per- 


How Earl Thomas of Lancaster, and Twenty-two of the greatest 
Nobles in England, were beheaded. 

KING EDWARD THE SECOND, father to the noble 
King Edward the Third of whom our history speaks, 
governed his kingdom very indifferently by the advice of 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 

Sir Hugh Spencer, who had been brought up with him 
from his youth. 

This Sir Hugh had managed matters so that his father 
and himself were the great masters of the realm, and were 
ambitious to surpass all the other great barons in Eng- 
land ; for which reason, after the great defeat at Stirling, 
the barons and nobles, and even the council of the king, 
murmured much, particularly against Sir Hugh Spencer, 
to whom they imputed their defeat on account of his par- 
tiality for the King of Scotland. The barons had many 
meetings on this matter to consult what was to be done. 
The chief of them was Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, uncle 
to the king. Sir Hugh soon found it would be necessary 
for him to check them ; and he was so well beloved by the 
king, and so continually in his presence, that he was sure 
of gaining belief, whatever he said. He soon took an 
opportunity of informing the king that these lords had 
entered into an alliance against him, and that, if he did not 
take proper measures, they would drive him out of the 
kingdom ; and thus operated so powerfully on the king's 
mind, that his malicious intentions had their full effect. 
The king caused all these lords to be arrested on a certain 
day when they were met together, and without delay 
ordered the heads of twenty-two of the greatest barons 
to be struck off, without assigning any cause or reason. 
Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, suffered the first. The hatred 
against Sir Hugh Spencer was increased by this deed, 
particularly that of the queen, and of the Earl of Kent, 
brother to the king ; which when he perceived, he fomented 
such a discord between the king and the queen, that the 
king would not see the queen, or come to any place where 
she was. This quarrel lasted some time : when the queen 
and the Earl of Kent were secretly informed, that, if they 

Froissart's Chronicles. 

did not speedily quit the court, they would repent it ; for 
Sir Hugh was endeavoring to stir up much mischief 
against them. Then the queen, having made preparations 
for passing secretly to France, set out as if to go on a 
pilgrimage to St. Thomas of Canterbury ; whence she 
went to Winchelsea, and that night embarked on board 
a vessel prepared for her reception, accompanied by her 
young son Edward, the Earl of Kent, and Sir Roger Mor- 
timer. Another vessel was loaded with luggage, &c. ; and, 
having a fair wind, they landed the next morning at 


The Queen of England goes to complain of Sir Hugh Spencer 
TO HER Brother, the King of France. 

WHEN the Queen Isabella landed at Boulogne with 
her son and her brother-in-law the Earl of Kent, 
the governor of the town and the abbot waited on her, and 
conducted her to the abbey, where she and her suite were 
joyfully received, and remained two days. On the third 
she continued her route toward Paris. 

King Charles, her brother, being informed of her coming, 
sent some of the greatest lords at that time near his per- 
son to meet her ; among whom were Sir Robert d' Artois, 
the Lord of Crucy, the Lord of Sully, and the Lord of Roy, 
and many others, who honorably received and conducted 
her to Paris to the king, her brother. When the king 
perceived his sister (whom he had not seen for a long 
time) entering his apartment, he rose to meet her, and, 
taking her in his arms, kissed her, and said, "You are 
welcome, my fair sister, with my fine nephew, your son : " 

Fj'oissarf s Chronicles. 

then, taking one in each hand, he led them in. The queen, 
who had no great joy in her heart except for being near 
her brother, would have knelt at his feet two or three 
times ; but the king would not suffer it, and, holding her 
by the right hand, inquired very affectionately into her 
business and affairs. Her answers were prudent and wise ; 
and she related to him all the injuries done to her by Sir 
Hugh Spencer, and asked of him advice and assistance. 

When the noble King Charles had heard the lamenta- 
tions of his sister, who with many tears had stated her 
distress, he said, "Fair sister, be appeased; for, by the 
faith I owe to God and to St. Denis, I will provide a 
remedy." The queen then kneeled down in spite of the 
king, and said to him, " My dear lord and brother, I pray 
God may second your intentions." The king then, taking 
her by the hand, conducted her to another apartment, 
which was richly furnished for her and her young son 
Edward : he then left her, and ordered that every thing 
should be provided, becoming the state of her and her son, 
from his treasury. 


Sir Hugh Spencer causes the Queen Isabella to be sent out of 

THE queen [had] made all her preparations for»her 
expedition very secretly, but not so much so as to 
prevent its coming to the knowledge of Sir Hugh Spencer, 
who thought that his most prudent plan would be to win 
over to his interest the King of France. For this purpose 
he sent over trusty and secret messengers laden with gold, 

6 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

silver, and rich jewels. These were distributed among 
the king and his ministers with such effect, that the king 
and his council were in a short time as cold toward the 
cause of Isabella as they had before been warm. 

Sir Hugh also endeavored to get the queen into his and 
the king's power, and to this end made the king write an 
affectionate letter to the pope, entreating him to order the 
King of France to send back his wife. There were similar 
letters written at the same time to the cardinals. The near- 
est relations of the pope, and those most in his counsels, 
managed the pope in such a manner, that he wrote to the 
King of France to send back Isabella, Queen of England, 
to her husband, under pain of excommunication. These 
letters were carried to the King of France by the Bishop 
of Xaintes, whom the pope sent thither as his legate. 

The king, on receipt of them, caused his sister to be 
acquainted with their contents (for he had held no conver- 
sation with her for a long time), and commanded her to 
leave the kingdom immediately, or he would make her 
leave it with shame. 


The Queen Isabella leaves France, and goes to Germany. 
HEN the queen heard this account, she knew not 


what to say, or what measures to adopt : for the 
barons had already withdrawn themselves by the king's 
command, and she had .no resource or adviser left but 
in her dear cousin, Robert of Artois ; and he could only 
advise and assist her in secret, as the king had forbidden 
it He well knew that the queen had been driven from 

Froissart's Chronicles. 

England through malice and ill-will : but he durst not 
speak of it to the king; for he had heard the king say 
and swear that whoever should speak to him in her 
behalf should forfeit his land, and be banished the king- 
dom. He was also informed that the king was not averse 
to the seizure of the persons of the queen, her son Ed- 
ward, the Earl of Kent, and Sir Roger Mortimer, and to 
their being delivered into the hands of the King of Eng- 
land and Sir Hugh Spencer. He therefore came in the 
middle of the night to inform the queen of the peril she 
was in. She was thunder-struck at the information ; to 
which he added, " I recommend you to set out for the 
empire, where there are many noble lords who will greatly 
assist you, particularly William, Earl of Hainault, and his 
brother, who are both great lords, and wise and loyal men, 
and much dreaded by their enemies." 

The queen ordered her baggage to be made ready as 
secretly as she could ; and, having paid for every thing, 
she quitted Paris, accompanied by her son, the Earl of 
Kent, and all her company, and took the road to Hainault. 
After some days she came into the country of Cambray. 
When she found she was in the territories of the empire, 
she was more at her ease; passed through Cambresis; 
entered L'Ostrevant in Hainault, and lodged at the house 
of a poor knight called Eustace d'Ambreticourt, who 
received her with great pleasure, and entertained her in 
the best manner he could; insomuch that afterwards the 
Queen of England and her son invited the knight, his 
wife, and all his children, to England, and advanced their 
fortunes in different ways. 

The arrival of the queen in Hainault was soon known 
in the house of the good Earl of Hainault, who was then 
at Valenciennes. Sir John, his brother, was also informed 

8 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

of the hour when she alighted at the house of the Lord of 
Ambreticourt. This Sir John, being at that time very 
young, and panting for glory like a knight-errant, mounted 
his horse, and, accompanied by a few persons, set out from 
Valenciennes for Ambreticourt, where he arrived in the 
evening, and paid the queen every respect and honor. 

The queen was at that time very dejected, and made a 
very lamentable complaint to him of all her griefs ; which 
affected Sir John so much, that he mixed his own tears 
with hers, and said, " Lady, see here your knight, who will 
not fail to die for you, though every one else should desert 
you : therefore will I do every thing in my power to con- 
duct you and your son, and to restore you to your rank in 
England, by the grace of God, and the assistance of your 
friends in thqse parts. And I, and all those whom I can 
influence, will risk our lives on the adventure, for your 
sake ; and we will have a sufficient armed force, if it 
please God, without fearing any danger from the King of 
France." The queen, who was sitting down, and Sir John 
standing before her, rose, and would have cast herself at 
his feet out of gratitude for the great favor he had just 
offered her ; but the gallant Sir John, rising up quickly, 
caught her in his arms, and said, "God forbid that the 
Queen of England should ever do such a thing ! Madam, 
be of good comfort to yourself and company ; for I will 
keep my promise : and you shall come and see my 
brother, and the countess his wife, and all their fine chil- 
dren, who will be rejoiced to see you; for I have heard 
them say so." The queen answered, " Sir, I find in you 
more kindness and comfort than in all the world besides ; 
and I give you five hundred thousand thanks for what you 
have said and offered me. If you will keep what you have 
promised me with so much courtesy, I and my son shall 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 

be forever bound unto you ; and we will put the kingdom 
of England under your management, as in justice it ought 
to be." 

The queen set off, accompanied by Sir John, Lord of 
Beaumont, who with joy and respect conducted he? to 
Valenciennes. Many of the citizens of the town came 
out to meet her, and received her with great humility. 
She was thus introduced to William, Earl of Hainault, 
who, as well as the countess, received her very graciously. 
Many great feasts were given on this occasion, as no one 
knew better than the countess how to do the honors of 
her house. This Earl William had at that time four 
daughters, — Margaret, Philippa, Joan, and Isabella. The 
young King Edward paid more court and attention to 
Philippa than to any of the others ; the young lady also 
conversed more frequently with him, and sought his com- 
pany oftener, than any of her sisters. The queen re- 
mained at Valenciennes during eight days with the good 
earl and countess Joan of Valois. In the mean time the 
queen made every preparation for her departure ; and Sir 
John wrote very affectionate letters unto certain knights, 
and those companions in whom he put the most confi- 
dence, in Hainault, in Brabant, and Bohemia, beseeching 
them, from all the friendship that was between them, that 
they would accompany him in his expedition to England. 

There were great numbers in these countries who were 
willing to go with him from the love they bore him, and 
many who refused, notwithstanding his request : and even 
Sir John himself was much reproved by the earl his broth- 
er, and by some of his council, because it seemed to them 
that this enterprise was of much hazard, on account of the 
great divisions and enmities which at that time subsisted 
among the great barons and commons in England ; and 


Froissarfs Chronicles. 

also because the English are always very jealous of stran- 
gers, which made them doubt whether Sir John de Hai- 
nault and his companions would ever return. But, not- 
withstanding all their blame and all their advice bestowed 
upon him, the gallant knight would not change his pur- 
pose ; saying that he could die but once ; that the time 
was in the will of God ; and that all true knights were 
bound to aid, to the utmost of their power, all ladies and 
damsels driven from their kingdoms comfortless and for- 


Queen Isabella arrives in England with Sir John de Hainault. 

THE Queen of England took leave of the earl and 
countess, thanking them much for the honor they 
had shown her, and kissed them at her departure. The 
queen, her son, and suite set off, accompanied by Sir John, 
who with great difficulty had obtained his brother's per- 

They travelled in such a manner as to arrive at Dor- 
drecht by the time limited for their friends to meet them. 
At that place they provided themselves with vessels of 
different sizes ; and having embarked their cavalry, bag- 
gage, &c., they set sail, first recommending themselves to 
the care of the Lord. When they left the harbor of Dor- 
drecht, the fleet, considering the force, made a beautiful 
appearance from its good order, and from the weather 
being clear and temperate. They came opposite to the 
dikes of Holland the first tide after their departure. The 
next day they cast anchor, and furled their sails, intending 
to follow the coast of Zealand, and to land at a port which 

Froissart's Chronicles. ii 

they had descried ; but they were prevented by a violent 
tempest, which drove them so far out of their course, that 
for two days they knew not where they were. In this 
God was very merciful to them ; for, liad they landed at 
the port they intended, they would have fallen into the 
hands of their enemies, who, apprised of their coming, 
waited for them at that place to put them to death. At 
the end of two days the storm abated ; and the sailors, de- 
scrying England, made for it with great joy, and landed 
upon the sands, having neither harbor nor safe port. 
They remained there three days at a short allowance of 
provisions, while they disembarked their cavalry, and 
landed their baggage. They were ignorant in what part 
of England they were, whether that part of the country 
was friendly to them or not. The fourth day they began 
their march, putting themselves under the protection of 
God and St. George ; having suffered much from cold and 
hunger in addition to their late fears, of which they had 
not yet divested themselves. They marched over hill and 
dale until they came to some villages. Soon afterwards 
they saw a large monastery of black friars, called St. 
Hamons, where they refreshed themselves during three 


The Queen of England besieges her Husband in the City of 

THE news of her arrival, being spread abroad, soon 
came to the knowledge of those lords by whose ad- 
vice she had returned. They got themselves ready as soon 
as possible to join her son, whom they wished to have for 

12 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

their sovereign. The first. who came was Henry, Earl 
of Lancaster, surnamed Wryneck, brother to tlie Earl 
Thomas who had been beheaded, and father of the Duke 
of Lancaster who makes so conspicuous a figure in the 
following history. This Earl Henry was attended by a 
great number of men at arms. After him came, from dif- 
ferent parts, .earls, barons, knights, and esquires, with such 
an armed force, that they no longer thought they had any 
thing to apprehend. As they advanced, their forces were 
still increased ; so that a council was called to consider if 
they should not^march directly to Bristol, where the king 
and the two Spencers then were. 

Bristol was at that time a large town, well enclosed, and 
situated on a good port. Its castle was very strong, and 
surrounded by the sea. The queen, with all her com- 
pany, the lords of Hainault, and their suite, took the short- 
est road for that place. Their forces were augmenting 
daily until they arrived at Bristol, which they besieged in 
form. The king and the younger Spencer shut them- 
selves up in the castle : old Sir Hugh and the Earl of 
Arundel remained in the town. 

When the citizens saw the queen's force, and the af- 
fections of almost all England on her side, alarmed at 
their own perilous situation, they determined to surrender 
the town on condition that their lives and property should 
be spared. They sent to treat with the queen on this 
subject ; but neither she nor her council would consent to 
it unless Sir Hugh Spencer and the Earl of Arundel were 
delivered up to her discretion, for she had come purposely 
to destroy them. 

The citizens, seeing they had no other means of saving 
the town, their lives, and their fortunes, acceded to the 
queen's terms, and opened their gates to her. She en- 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 13 

tered the town accompanied by Sir John de Hainault, with 
all her barons, knights, and esquires, who took their lodg- 
ing therein : the others, for want of accommodation, re- 
mained without. Sir Hugh Spencer and the Earl of 
Arundel were delivered to the queen, to do with them as it 
should please her. Her children were also brought to her, 
— John and her two daughters, — found there in the keep- 
ing of Sir Hugh Spencer. As she had not seen them in 
a long time, this gave her great joy as well as all her 

The king and the younger Spencer, shut up in the cas- 
tle, were much grieved at what had passed, seeing the 
whole country turned to the queen's party and to Edward, 
the eldest son. 


The King of England and Sir Hugh Spencer are taken at 
Sea as they are endeavoring to escape from ti& Castle of 

THE king and Sir Hugh Spencer, seeing themselves 
so closely pressed, and being ignorant whether any 
succor was coming to them, embarked one morning with a 
few followers in a small boat behind the castle, intending, 
if possible, to reach the principality of Wales. They were 
eleven or twelve days in this small boat ; and, notwith- 
standing every effort to get forward, the winds proved so 
contrary by the will of God, that once or twice a day they 
were driven back within a quarter of a league of the cas- 
tle whence they set out. At length Sir Henry Beaumont, 
espying the vessel, embarked with some of his compan- 
ions in a barge, and rowed so vigorously after it, that the 

14 Froissart''s Chronicles. 

king's boatmen, unable to escape, were overtaken. The 
king and Sir Hugh Spencer were brought back to Bristol, 
and delivered to the queen and her son as prisoners. 
Thus ended this bold and gallant enterprise of Sir John 
de Hainault and his companions, who, when they em- 
barked at Dordrecht, amounted to no more than three 
hundred men at arms. By their means Queen Isabella 
recovered her kingdom, and destroyed her enemies ; at 
which the whole nation, except some few who were at- 
tached to the Spencers, was greatly rejoiced. 

When the king and Sir Hugh Spencer were brought to 
Bristol by Sir Henry Beaumont, the king was sent to 
Berkeley Castle under a strong guard. Many attentions 
were paid to him, and proper people were placed near his 
person to take every care of him, but on no account to 
suffer him to pass the bounds of the castle. Sir Hugh 
Spencer was delivered up to Sir Thomas Wager, marshal 
of the army. 

The queen and all the army set out for London, which 
is the principal city in England. Sir Thomas Wager 
caused Sir Hugh Spencer to be fastened on the poorest 
and smallest horse he could find, clothed with a tabard 
such as he was accustomed to wear. He led him thus in 
derision, in the suite of the queen, through all the towns 
they passed, where he was announced by trumpets and 
cymbals by way of greater mockery, till they reached 
Hereford, where she and her suite were respectfully and 
joyfully received. The feast of All Saints was there cele- 
brated with the greatest solemnity and magnificence, out 
of affection to her son, and respect to the noble foreigners 
that attended him. 

When the feast was over, Sir Hugh was brought before 
the queen and knights assembled. The charges were read 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 15 

to him ; to which he made no reply. The barons and 
knights then passed sentence on him, — that he should 
be drawn on a hurdle, attended by trumpets and clarions, 
through all the streets in the city of Hereford, and then 
conducted to the market-place, where all the people were 
assembled : at that place he was to be bound upon a high 
scaffold, in order that he might be more easily seen by 
the people. 

Afterwards his heart was thrown into the fire, because 
it had been false and traitorous ; since he, by his treason- 
able counsels, so advised the king as to bring shame and 
mischief on the land, and had caused some of the greatest 
lords to be beheaded by whom the kingdom ought to 
have been supported and defended. His head was cut 
off, and sent to London. 

After the execution, the queen and all the lords, with a 
great number of common people, set out for London. As 
they approached it great crowds came out to meet them, 
and received both her and her son, as well as those who 
accompanied her, with great reverence. 

The citizens presented handsome gifts to the queen, 
as well as to those of her suite where they thought them 
best bestowed. After fifteen days passed in feasts and 
rejoicings, the companions of Sir John de Hainault were 
impatient to return home. When the queen and her 
companions saw this, they addressed themselves to Sir 
John de Hainault, and requested him to remain only until 
after Christmas, and that he would detain as many of his 
followers as possible. He detained as many of his com- 
panions as he could ; but small was the number, the 
greater part refusing to stay on any account. 

The queen ordered a large sum of money to be given 
them for their expenses, besides jewels of high price, 

1 6 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

which she presented to each according to his rank ; so 
that all were perfectly satisfied. She also paid to each, in 
ready money, the value of their horses that they chose to 
leave behind, according to their own estimation, without 
any demur. 


The Coronation of King Edward the Third. 

MOST of the followers of Sir John de Hainault having 
returned home, the queen gave leave to many of 
her household to return to their country-seats, — except 
a few of the nobles, whom she kept with her as her coun- 
cil, — expressly ordering them to come back at Christ- 
mas to a great court which at that time she intended to 
hold. When Christmas came, she held the court above 
mentioned; and it was very fully attended by all the nobles 
and prelates of the realm, as well as by the principal 
officers of the chief cities and towns. In this assembly it 
was determined that the kingdom could no longer remain 
without a sovereign ; and when all the acts done by the 
king, or having his consent, had been read, the chiefs of 
the assembly consulted together, and agreeing that such 
a man was not worthy to be a king, neither to bear a 
crown nor the title of king, they unanimously resolved 
that his elder son and true heir, then present, should be 
crowned instead of the father. They ordered that his 
father should be kept a prisoner, having every attention 
paid to his rank, as long as he should live. 

The young King Edward, since so fortunate in arms, 
was crowned with a royal diadem in the Palace of West- 


Froissart's Chronicles. 

minster on Christmas Day, 1326. He completed his six- 
teenth year on the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul 

At this coronation Sir John de Hainaiilt and all his 
companions, noble or otherwise, were much feasted, and 
many rich jewels were given to him and those that staid 
with him. He and his friends remained during these 
grand feasts, to the great satisfaction of the lords and 
ladies that were there, until Twelfth Day ; when he re- 
ceived information that the King of Bohemia, the Earl of 
Hainault his brother, and many great lords of France, 
had ordered a tournament to be proclaimed at Conde. Sir 
John, therefore, would no longer stay, notwithstanding 
their entreaties, from the great desire he had to attend 
this tournament to see his brother and the other princes, 
especially that gallant and generous prince, Charles, King 
of Bohemia. 

When the young King Edward, his mother, and the 
barons, saw that it was not possible to detain him any 
longer, they gave him permission to depart, very much 
against their will. The king, by the advice of the queen, 
granted him an annuity of four hundred marks sterling, 
hereditable rent, to be held of him in fee, payable in the 
city of Bruges. He gave also to Philip de Chateaux, his 
principal esquire and chief counsellor, a hundred marks 
sterling of rent, to be paid at the same time and place. 
He ordered many knights to accompany him to Dover, 
and that his passage should be free of all cost. He pre- 
sented the Countess de Garennes, sister to the Count de 
Bar, and some other ladies who had accompanied the 
queen to England, with many rich jewels, on their taking 

Sir John and his company immediately embarked on 

1 8 Froissart's Chronicles. 

board the vessels prepared for them, to be in time for the 
tournament. The king sent with him fifteen young and 
hardy knights to attend him at tliis tournament, there to 
try their skill, and to get acquainted with the lords and 
knights that were to be there. Sir John and his company 
paid them all the attention in their power, and on this 
occasion tourneyed at Conde. 

Robert Bruce, King of Scotland, defies King Edward. 

AFTER the departure of Sir John de Hainault, King 
Edward and his mother governed the kingdom by 
the counsels of the good Earl of Kent and of Sir Roger 
Mortimer. Both of them had been banished with the 
queen. They also took the advice of Sir Thomas Wager, 
and of others who were esteemed the wisest in the land. 
This, however, created much envy, which never dies in 
England, but reigns there as well as in other places. 
Thus passed the winter and Lent in perfect peace until 
Easter ; when it happened that Robert, King of Scotland, 
who, though brave, had suffered much in his wars with 
England, having often been defeated by King Edward, 
grandfather of the young king, being at this time very old 
and afflicted with leprosy, hearing that the king had been 
taken prisoner and deposed, and his counsellors put to 
death, thought it a favorable opportunity to send a defi- 
ance to the present king, as yet a youth, whose barons 
were not on good terms with each other, and to attempt 
the conquest of some part of England. About Easter, 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 19 

1327, he sent a defiance to King Edward and all the coun- 
try, informing them that he would enter the kingdom, and 
burn it as far as he had done before after the defeat of 
Stirling, in which the English suffered so much. 

When the young king and his council received this 
challenge, they published it throughout the kingdom, and 
ordered that all the nobles and others should come prop- 
erly accoutred and accompanied, according to their differ- 
ent ranks, to York, the Day of Ascension following. He 
also sent a considerable body of men at arms to guard the 
frontiers of Scotland, and messengers to Sir John de Hai- 
nault, begging him very affectionately to assist and accom- 
pany him in this expedition, and to meet him at York on 
Ascension Day with as many companions in arms as he 
could bring with him. 

Sir John and his company reached York by the appoint- 
ed time, and were welcomed and magnificently entertained 
by the king, queen, and all the barons. The handsomest 
suburbs of the city were assigned them for their quarters, 
and a monastery of white friars was allotted for him and 
his household. In company with the knight came from 
Hainault the Lord of Anghien (called Sir Walter), Sir 
Henry, Lord of Antoing, the Lord of Seignoles, and the 
following knights, — Sir Fastres de Reu, Sir Robert de 
Bailleul, Sir William de Bailleul his brother, the Lord of 
Havereth (castellan of Mons), Sir Alart de Briseil, Sir 
Michael de Eigne, Sir John de Montigny the younger, and 
his brother Sir Sause de Boussac, Sir Pcrcival de Severies, 
the Lords of Gommegines, De Biaurien, and De Folion. 
There came also from Flanders, first. Sir Hector de 
Vilains, Sir John de Rhodes, Sir Vaufflat de Guistelle, Sir 
James de Guistelle his brother, Sir Gossuin de la Muelle, 
and the Lord of Tarces. Many came from Brabant ; as 

20 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

the Lord of Dusle, Sir Thierry de Vaucourt, Sir Rasses 
de Gres, Sir John de Cassebegne, Sir John Pilestre, Sir 
Wilham de Courterelles, the three brothers De Harle- 
beque, Sir Walter de Hautebergue, and several others. 
Of the Bohemians were, Sir John de Libeaux, Henry his 
brother, Sir Henry de la Chappelle, Sir Hugh de Hay, Sir 
John de Limies, Sir Lambert des Prez, Sir Gilbert de 
Hers. There came also other volunteer knights out of 
Cambresis and Artois, in hopes of advancement ; so that 
Sir John had five hundred good men in his company, well 
apparelled and richly mounted. 


A Dissension between the Archers of England and the Hai- 


THE King of England, in order to entertain and feast 
the strangers and their company, held a great court 
on Trinity Sunday, at the house of the black friars, where 
he and the queen were lodged, and where each kept their 
household separate ; the king with his knights, and the 
queen with her ladies, whose numbers were considerable. 
At this court the king had five hundred knights, and cre- 
ated fifteen new ones. The queen gave her entertainment 
in the dormitory, where at least sixt}^ ladies, whom she had 
invited to entertain Sir John de Hainault and his suite, 
sat down at her table. There might be seen a numerous 
nobility well served with plenty of strange dishes, so dis- 
guised that it could not be known what they were. There 
were also ladies most superbly dressed, who were expect- 
ing with impatience the hour of the ball, or a longer con- 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 21 

tiniiance of the feast : but it fell out otherwise ; for, soon 
after dinner, a violent affray happened between some of 
the grooms of the Hainaulters and the English archers, 
who were lodged with them in the suburbs. This in- 
creased so much that the archers collected together with 
their bows strung, and shot at them so as to force them to 
retreat to their lodgings. The greater part of the knights 
and their masters, who were still at court, hearing of the 
affray, hastened to their quarters. Those that could not 
enter them were exposed to great danger ; for the archers, 
to the number of three thousand, aimed both at masters 
and servants. It was supposed that this affray was oc- 
casioned by the friends of the Spencers and the Earl of 
Arundel, in revenge for their having been put to death 
through the advice of Sir John de Hainault. The English 
also, at whose houses the Hainaulters lodged, barricaded 
their doors and windows, and would not suffer them to 
enter : nevertheless some of them got admittance at the 
back doors, and quickly armed themselves, but durst not 
advance into the street, for fear of the arrows. The stran- 
gers immediately sallied from behind their lodgings, break- 
ing down the hedges and enclosures, until they came to a 
square, where they halted, waiting . for their companions, 
till they amounted to a hundred under arms, and as many 
without, who could not gain admittance to their lodgings. 
United thus, they hastened to assist their friends, who 
were defending their quarters in the great street in the 
best manner they could : they passed through the hotel 
of the Lord of Anghien, which had great gates before and 
behind open into the street, where the archers were deal- 
ing about their arrows in a furious manner. Many Hai- 
naulters were wounded with them. 

2 2 Froissarf's Chronicles. 


How THE Fight between the Archers and the Hainaulters ended. 

HERE we found the i2,ood knights, Sir Fastres de 
Rue, Sir Percival de Severies, and Sir Sause de 
Boussac, who, not getting admittance into their lodgings, 
performed deeds equal to those that were armed. They 
had in their hands great oaken staves, taken from the 
house of a carter : they dealt their hlows so successfully 
that none durst approach them, and, being strong and 
valiant knights, beat down, that evening", upward of sixty 
men. At last the archers were discomfited and put to 
flight. There remained on the ground dead three hun- 
dred men, or thereabouts, who were all from the bishop- 
ric of Lincoln. I believe that God never showed greater 
grace or favor to any one than he did in that day to Sir 
John de Hainault and his company ; for these archers 
certainly meant nothing less than to murder and rob 
them, notwithstanding they were come upon the king's 
business. These strang'ers were nexer in such great peril 
as during the time they remained at York ; nor were they 
in perfect safety until their return to W'issan ; for, during 
their stay, the hatred of the archers was so greatly in- 
creased against them, that some of the barons and prin- 
cipal knights informed the lords of Hainault that the 
archers and others of the commonalty of England, to the 
number of six thousand, had entered into an agreement 
to massacre and burn them and their followers in their 
lodgings either by night or da}% and there was no one on 
the part of the king, or of the barons, that could venture 

Froissart's Chronicles. 23 

to assist them. The Hainaulters, therefore, had no other 
resource left than to stand by each other, and to sell their 
lives as dearly as possible. They made many prudent 
regulations for their conduct, were frequently obliged to 
lie on their arms, to confine themselves to their quarters, 
and to have their armor ready, and their horses always 
saddled. They were also obliged to keep detachments 
continually on the watch in the fields and roads round 
the city, and to send scouts to the distance of half a 
league, to see if those people, of whom they had received 
information, were coming ; with orders, that, if they per- 
ceived any bodies in motion advancing toward the town, 
they were immediately to return to the detachments in 
the fields, in order that they might be quickly mounted, 
and collected together under their own banner, at an ap- 
pointed alarm-post. They continued in the suburbs four 
weeks in this distressing situation ; and none except a 
few of the great lords, who went to court to see the king 
and his council, or to the entertainments to hear the 
news, ventured to quit their quarters or their arms. If 
this unfortunate quarrel had not happened, they would 
have passed their time very pleasantly ; for there was 
such plenty in the city and surrounding country, that 
during more than six weeks, while the king and the lords 
of England, with upward of forty thousand men at arms, 
remained there, the provisions were not dearer ; for as 
much was to be bought for a penny as before their arri- 
val. Good wines from Gascony, Alsace, and the Rhine 
were in abundance, and reasonable ; poultry and other 
such provisions at a low price. Hay, oats, and straw, of 
a good quality, and cheap, were delivered at their quarters. 

24 Froiss art's Chronicles. 


How THE King and his Army marched to Durham. 

AFTER remaining three weeks from tlie time of this 
affray, the king issued a proclamation by his mar- 
shals, that every one in the course of the ensuing week 
should be provided with carts, tents, and every thing 
necessary for their march toward Scotland. When every 
one was properly equipped, the king and all his barons 
marched out of the city, and encamped six leagues from 
it. Sir John de Hainault and his company were encamped 
near the king, as a mark of distinction, and to prevent the 
archers from taking any advantage of him. The king and 
this first division remained there two days and two nights, 
waiting the arrival of money for his expenses, as well as 
to examine whether any thing were wanting. On the third 
day the army dislodged, and before daybreak marched till 
they came to the city of Durham, a long day's journey, at 
the entrance of a country called Northumberland, which 
is wild, full of deserts and mountains, and poor in every 
thing except cattle. The river Tyne runs through it, full 
of flints and large stones. Upon this river is situated the 
town called Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The lord marshal of 
England was there, with a numerous army to guard the 
country against the Scots. At Carlisle was a considerable 
body of Welsh, under the command of Lord Hereford and 
Lord Mowbray, to defend the passage of the Eden ; for 
the Scots could not enter England without passing one of 
these rivers. The English could get no certain informa- 
tion of the Scots until they arrived at this place : they 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 25 

had passed the river so privately, that neither those of 
Carlisle nor those of Newcastle had the smallest knovi^l- 
edge of it. These towns are said to be distant from each 
other four and twenty English miles. 


Of the Manners of the Scots, and how they carry on War. 

THE Scots are bold, hardy, and much inured to war. 
When they make their invasions into England, they 
march from twenty to four and twenty miles without halt- 
ing, as well by night as day ; for they are all on horse- 
back, except the camp-followers, who are on foot. The 
knights and esquires are well mounted on large bay 
horses, the common people on little galloways. They 
bring no carriages with them, on account of the moun- 
tains they have to pass in Northumberland ; neither do 
they carry with them any provisions of bread or wine ; 
for their habits of sobriety are such, in time of war, that 
they will live for a long time on flesh half sodden, with- 
out bread, and drink the river-water without wine. They 
have, therefore, no occasion for pots or pans : for they 
dress the flesh of their cattle in the skins, after they have 
taken them off ; and, being sure to find plenty of them 
in the country which they invade, they carry none with 
them. Under the flaps of his saddle, each man carries a 
broad plate of metal ; behind the saddle, a little bag of 
oatmeal : when they have eaten too much or the sodden 
flesh, and their stomach appears weak and empty, they 
place this plate over the fire, mix with water their oat- 

26 Froissart's Chronicles. 

meal, and, when the plate is heated, they put a little of 
the paste upon it, and make a thin cake, like a cracknel 
or biscuit, which they eat to warm their stomachs : it is 
therefore no wonder that they perform a longer day's 
march than other soldiers. In this manner the Scots 
entered England, destroying and burning every thing as 
they passed. They seized more cattle than they knew 
what to do with. Their army consisted of four thousand 
men at arms, knights and esquires, well mounted ; besides 
twenty thousand men, bold and hardy, armed after the 
manner of their country, and mounted upon little hack- 
neys, that are never tied up or dressed, but turned, imme- 
diately after the day's march, to pasture on the heath or 
in the fields. This army was commanded by two valiant 
captains. The King of Scotland himself, who had been 
very brave, yet being old, and laboring under a leprosy, 
appointed for one that gallant prince, so renowned in 
arms, the Earl of Moray, who bore upon his banner 
argent three pillows gules ; the other was Sir James 
Douglas, esteemed the bravest and most enterprising 
knight in the two kingdoms : he bore for arms azure on a 
chef argent. These two lords were the greatest barons, 
and most renowned for their prowess and other feats of 


King Edward's First Expedition against the Scots. 

WHEN the English king and all his host had seen 
the smoke of the fires which the Scots had made, 
the alarm was immediately sounded, and every one or- 
dered to dislodge and to follow his banners : they all, 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 27 

therefore, withdrew to the fields, armed for immediate 
combat. Three battahons of infantry were formed ; each 
battalion having two wings, composed of five hundred 
men at arms, who were to remain on horseback. 

It was said that there were eight thousand men at arms, 
knights and esquires, and thirty thousand men armed and 
equipped, half of whom were mounted on small hackneys : 
the other half were countrymen on foot, sent by the towns 
and paid by them. There were also twenty-four thousand 
archers on foot, besides all the crew of followers of the 
army. Thus being drawn up, they marched in battle 
array after the Scots, towards the place whence the 
smoke came, until it was night. The army halted in a 
wood, by the side of a small river, to rest themselves, and 
to wait for their baggage and provisions. 

And all that day the Scots had burnt and wasted and 
pillaged the country about within five miles of the Eng- 
lish host, but the Englishmen could not overtake them. 
They could not approach near to the Scots, who went 
wasting the country before them. 

At daybreak the next morning every one was armed, 
and with banners displayed marched in good order over 
mountains and through valleys, but could never approach 
the Scots ; for there were so many marshes and danger- 
ous places, that it was ordered, under pain of death, that 
no one should quit his banner except the marshals. When 
it drew toward night, the cavalry, and those who attended 
the baggage, more especially the infantry, were so fatigued 
that they could march no farther. 

The king then ordered the marshals to encamp the 
army there for the night, in order that they might con- 
sider what was to be done the next day. The army lay in 
a wood upon the banks of a small river, and the king was 

FroissarVs Chronicles. 

lodged in a poor monastery hard by. When each had 
chosen a spot of ground to encamp himself on, the lords 
retired apart, to consider what would be the best method 
to force the Scots, considering the situation of the country 
in which they were. It appeared to them that the Scots 
were sheering off to their own country, burning and pil- 
laging as they went, and that it would be impossible to 
fight with them in these mountains without a manifest 
disadvantage, supposing they should overtake them, which 
they could not ; but, as they must repass the Tyne, it was 
determined in full council, that, if they were to get them- 
selves ready about midnight, and hasten their march next 
day, they might cut off the passage of the river, and force 
them to fight at a disadvantage, or remain shut up pris- 
oners in England. 

After this resolution had been entered into, each retired 
to his quarters, to eat and drink what he could find there ; 
and they desired their companions to be silent, in order 
that the trumpets might be heard : at the first sounding of 
which, the horses were to be saddled and made ready ; at 
the second, every one was to arm himself without delay ; 
and, at the third, to mount their horses immediately, and 
join their banners. Each was to take only one loaf of 
bread with him, slung behind him, after the manner of 
hunters. All unnecessary arms, harness, and baggage 
were ordered to be left behind, as they thought they 
should, for a certainty, give battle the next day, whatever 
might be the consequences. As it had been ordered, so 
was it executed ; and all were mounted and ready about 
midnight. Some had but little rest, notwithstanding they 
had labored hard the day before. Day began to appear, 
as the battalions were assembled at their different posts. 
The banner-bearers then hastened on, over heaths, moun- 

Froissart's Chronicles. 29 

tains, valleys, rocks, and many dangerous places, without 
meeting any level country. On the summits of the moun- 
tains, and in the valleys, were large marshes and bogs, 
and of such extent that it is a miracle many were not lost 
in them ; for each galloped forward without waiting for 
either commander or companion. Those who fell into 
them found difficulty in getting any one to help them. 
Many banners remained there ; and several baggage and 
sumpter horses never came out again. 

In the course of the day there were frequent cries of 
alarm, as if the foremost ranks were engaged with the 
enemy ; which those behind believing to be true, they 
hurried forward as fast as possible, over rocks and moun- 
tains, sword in hand, with their helmets and shields pre- 
pared for fighting, without waiting for father, brother, or 
friend. When they had hastened about half a league 
toward the place from which the noise came, they found 
themselves disappointed, as the cries proceeded from some 
herds of deer or other wild beasts, which abounded in 
these heaths and desert places, and which fled before the 
banners, pursued by the shouts of the army, which made 
them imagine it was something else. 

In this manner the young King of England, agreeably 
to the advice of his council, rode all that day over moun- 
tains and deserts, without keeping to any fixed road, or 
finding any town. About vespers, and sorely fatigued, 
they reached the Tyne, which the Scots had already 
crossed, though the English supposed they had it still to 
repass. Accordingly they went over the ford, but with 
great dif^culty, owing to the large stones that were in the 

When they had passed over, each took up his lodging 
on its banks, as he could ; and at this time the sun was 

30 Froissarf s Chronicles. 

set. There were few among them that had any hatchets, 
wedges, or other instruments, to cut down trees to make 
themselves huts ; many of them had lost their companions, 
and even the foot had remained behind, not knowing- what 
road to ask for. They were forced to lie this night on 
the banks of the river in their armor, and at the same 
time hold their horses by their bridles, for there was not 
any place where they could tie them. Thus the horses 
had nothing to eat, neither oats nor any forage ; and the 
men had only their loaf that was tied behind them, which 
was wetted by the sweat of the horses. They had no 
other beverage but the water of the river, except some 
great lords who had bottles among their baggage ; nor 
had they any fire or light, not having any thing to make 
them of, except some few lords who had some torches 
which they had brought on sumpter-horses. In such a 
melancholy manner did they pass the night, without taking 
the saddles from off the horses, or disarming themselves. 
And when the long-expected day appeared, when they 
hoped to find some comfort for themselves and horses, or 
to fight the Scots, which they very much wished for, to 
get out of their disagreeable situation, it began to rain, 
and continued all the day, insomuch that the river was so 
increased by noon that no one could pass over, nor could 
any one be sent to know where they were, or to get forage 
and litter for their horses, or bread and wine for their own 
sustenance : they were therefore obliged to fast another 
night. The horses had nothing to subsist on but the 
leaves of the trees, and grass. They cut down with their 
swords young trees, and tied their horses to them. They 
also cut down brushwood to make huts for themselves. 

Having continued a whole week without hearing any 
tidings of the Scots, who they imagined must pass that 

Froissart's Chronicles. 31 

way, or very near it, on their return home, great murmurs 
arose in the army ; and many laid the fault on those who 
had given such advice, adding that it was done in order 
to betray the king and his host. Upon which, the lords 
of council ordered the army to make ready to march, and 
cross the river seven leagues higher up, where the ford 
was better ; and it was proclaimed, that every one was to 
be in readiness to march the next day, and to follow his 
banners. There was another proclamation made, that 
whoever chose to take pains and find out where the Scots 
were, and should bring certain intelligence of it to the 
king, the messenger of such news should have one hun- 
dred pounds a year in land, and be made a knight by the 
king himself. When this was made known among the 
host, many knights and esquires, to the number of fifteen 
or sixteen, eager to gain such rewards, passed the river 
with much danger, ascended the mountains, and then 
separated, each taking different routes. 

The next day the army dislodged ; marched tolerably 
well, considering that they were but ill clothed ; and ex- 
erted themselves so much, that they repassed the river, 
though with much danger from its being swollen by the 
rains. Many were well washed, and many drowned. When 
they had crossed over, they remained there for that night, 
finding plenty of forage in the fields near to a small village, 
which the Scots had burnt as they passed. The next day 
they marched over hill and dale till about noon, when they 
came to some burnt villages, and some fields where there 
were corn and hay, so that the host remained there for 
that night. The third day they marched in the same 
manner ; but many were ignorant where they were going, 
nor had they any intelligence of the enemy. 

They continued their route the fourth day in this order ; 


Froissarfs Chronicles. 

when, about three o'clock, an esquire, galloping up hastily 
to the king, said, " Sire, I bring you news of the Scots : 
they are three leagues from this place, lodged on a moun- 
tain, where they have been this week, waiting for you. 
They knew no more where you were than you did of 
them : and you may depend on this as true ; for I ap- 
proached so near to them, that I was taken, and led a 
prisoner to their army, before their chiefs. I informed 
them where you were, and that you were seeking them to 
give them battle. The lords gave me up my ransom, and 
my liberty, when I informed them that you had promised 
a hundred pounds a year to whoever should first bring in- 
telligence of them, upon condition that he rested not until 
he brought you this information ; and I now tell you that 
you will find them in the place I have mentioned, as eager 
to meet you in battle as yourself can be." As soon as the 
king heard this news he ordered his army to be prepared, 
and turned his horses to feed in the fields, near to a mon- 
astery of white monks, which had been burnt, and which 
was called in King Arthur's time Blanche Land. Then 
the king confessed himself, and each made his prepara- 
tions according to his abilities. The king ordered plenty 
of masses to be said, to housel such as were devoutly 
inclined. He assigned a hundred pounds' value of land, 
yearly, to the esquire, according to his promise, and made 
him a knight with his own hands, in the presence of the 
whole army. When they had taken some repose, and 
breakfasted, the trumpets sounded ; and, all being mounted, 
the banners advanced as the young knight led them on ; 
but each battalion marched by itself in regular array, over 
hill and dale, keeping their ranks according to order. 
Thus they continued marching, when about twelve o'clock 
they came within sight of the Scots army. 


Froissarfs Chronicles. 33 

As soon as the Scots perceived them, they issued forth 
from their huts on foot, and formed three good battalions 
upon the descent of the mountain on which they lodged. 
A strong, rapid river ran at the foot of this mountain, 
which was so full of large rocks and stones, that it was 
dangerous to pass it in haste. If the English had passed 
this river, there was not room between it and the moun- 
tain for them to draw up their line of battle. The Scots 
had formed their two first battalions on the two sides of 
the mountain, and on the declivity of the rock, which was 
not easy to climb to attack them : but they themselves 
were posted so as to annoy them with stones, if they 
crossed the river ; which, if the English effected, they 
would not be able to return. 

When the English lords perceived the disposition of the 
Scots, they ordered their men to dismount, take off their 
spurs, and form three battalions as before. Many new 
knights were made ; and, when the battalions were formed, 
some of the chief lords brought the young king on horse- 
back along the lines, to encourage the men. The king 
spoke most graciously to all, and besought them to take 
every pains to do him honor and preserve their own. He 
ordered, under pain of death, that no one should advance 
before the banners of the marshals, or move without or- 
ders. Shortly afterwards the battalions were commanded 
to advance toward the enemy in slow time, keeping their 
ranks. This was done ; and each battalion moved on a 
considerable space, and came to the ascent of the moun- 
tain where the Scots were posted. This manoeuvre was 
intended in order to see whether the enemy would retire, 
or make any movement ; but neither one nor other was 
to he perceived, and the armies were so near each other 
that they could see the arms on their shields. The army 

34 Froiss art's Chronicles. 

was ordered to halt to consider what was to be done ; 
and some companions were mounted to skirmish with the 
enemy, and to examine the passage of the river and their 
appearance more clearly. They sent heralds to make an 
offer of retiring on the morrow, if they would pass the 
river, and fight upon the plain ; or, if the Scots would not 
consent to this, that they would do the same. 

When the Scots received this proposal, the chiefs retired 
to counsel, and returned for answer by the heralds, that 
they would do neither the one nor the other; that the 
king and his barons saw that they were in his kingdom, 
and had burnt and pillaged wherever they had passed ; and 
that, if it displeased the king, he might come and amend 
it, for they would tarry there as long as it pleased them. 
When the council of the King of England heard the 
answer, he ordered it to be proclaimed, that each should 
take up his quarters where he was, without quitting the 
ground or his arms : they therefore lay that night very 
uncomfortably upon the hard ground, among rocks and 
stones, with their armor on ; nor could they get any stakes 
for the purpose of tying their horses, or procure either 
litter, or forage, or any bushes to make fires. 

The Scots, seeing the English thus take up their quarters, 
ordered part of the army to remain where the battalions 
had been drawn up ; and the remainder retired to their 
huts, where they made marvellously great fires, and about 
midnight such a blasting and noise with their horns, that 
it seemed as if all the great devils from hell had been 
come there. Thus were they lodged this night, which was 
the night of the feast - of St. Peter, the beginning of 
August, 1327, until the next day, when the lords heard 
mass ; afterwards every one armed himself, and the bat- 
talions were formed as on the preceding day. When the 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 35 

Scots saw this, they came and lodged themselves on the 
same ground they had done before ; and the two armies 
remained thus drawn up until noon, when the Scots made 
no movement to come toward the English, nor did these 
on their part make any advances, for they dared not to 
attempt it with so great disadvantage. Several com- 
panions passed the river on horseback, as did some of the 
foot, to skirmish with the Scots, who also quitted their 
battalions to meet them ; and many on each side were 
killed, wounded, and taken prisoners. In the afternoon 
the lords ordered every one to retire to their quarters, as 
it seem.ed to them that they were drawn up to no purpose. 
In this manner they remained for three days. The Scots, 
on their side, never quitted the mountain ; but there were 
continued skirmishes on both sides, and many killed and 
taken prisoners. In the evenings they made large fires, 
and great noises with their horns and with shouting. 
The intention of the English lords was to keep the Scots 
besieged there ; for, as they could not well fight with them, 
they hoped to starve them. They knew from the prison- 
ers that they had neither bread, wine, salt, nor other pro- 
vision, except cattle, of which they had plenty, that they 
had seized in the country : of these they might eat, in- 
deed, without bread, which would not be very palatable. 
But they had some little flour to make such cakes as have 
been before mentioned, and which some of the English 
use on their inroads beyond the borders. 

The fourth day, in the morning, the English looked for 
the Scots on the mountain, but saw none of them, for 
they found they had decamped secretly at midnight. 
Scouts of horse and of foot were immediately despatched 
through the mountains to know what was become of them. 
They found them, about four o'clock, posted upon another 

36 FroissarVs Chronicles. 

mountain, much stronger than that they had left, upon the 
same river, near a large wood, to be more concealed, and 
in order more privately to advance or retreat at pleasure. 

As soon as this was known, the English had orders to 
dislodge, and to march in battle array toward the place 
where the enemy was posted ; and they encamped on a 
mountain opposite. They formed their battalions, and 
seemed as if they meant to advance to them. The Scots 
no sooner perceived this, than they sallied out of their 
quarters, and came and posted themselves by the side of 
the river, directly in front ; but they were unwilling to 
advance or come nearer. The English could not attack 
them in such a situation without great disadvantage and 
loss. They remained full eighteen days in this situation 
upon this mountain, whence the lords sent frequent heralds 
to the Scots, to offer to give them full place of plain 
ground to draw up their battalions, or else they would 
accept the same from them ; but they would not agree to 
either of these proposals. 

The two armies had little comfort during the time they 
remained in this position. The first night that the Eng- 
lish were posted on this second mountain, the Lord James 
Douglas took with him about two hundred men at arms, 
and at midnight crossed the river, at such a distance from 
the camp that he was not noticed, and fell upon the Eng- 
lish army most valiantly, shouting, " Douglas forever ! 
Ye shall die, ye thieyes of England!" He and his com- 
panions killed more than three hundred ; and he galloped 
up to the king's tent, and cut two or three of its cords, 
crying, at the same time, " Douglas ! Douglas forever ! " 
when he set off ; and in his retreat he lost some of his 
followers, but not many : he returned to his friends on the 
mountain. Nothing more of the sort was attempted from 

Froissart's Chronicles. 37 

that time ; but the English in future kept a strong and 
attentive guard, for they were fearful of another attack 
from the Scots, and had placed sentinels and scouts to 
give notice of the smallest movement of the enemy; the 
chief lords also slept in their armor. There were frequent 
skirmishes, and many lives lost on both sides. The 
twenty-fourth day from the time they had received intelli- 
gence of the enemy, a Scots knight was taken prisoner, 
who, sore against his will, gave an account to the lords of 
the state of the enemy. He was so closely examined, that 
he owned his lords had given orders that morning for 
every one to be armed by vespers, and follow the banner 
of Lord James Douglas ; that it was to be kept secret ; 
but he was not for a certainty acquainted with their inten- 
tions further. Upon this the English lords held a council ; 
and they judged, from the information of the Scots knight, 
that the enemy might perhaps come in full force at night 
to attack them on both sides at once, and from their 
sufferings by famine, which they could endure no longer, 
make it a very bloody and doubtful combat. The English 
formed into three battalions, and posted themselves before 
their qyarters, on three separate spots of ground. They 
made large fires, in order to see better, and left their pages 
in their quarters to take care of their horses. They re- 
mained under arms all the night, and each was placed 
under his own standard or banner. 

Toward daybreak two Scots trumpeters fell in with one 
of the patrols, who took them, and brought them before 
the lords of the council, to whom they said, " My lords, 
why do you watch here } You are losing your time ; for 
we swear, by our heads, that the Scots are on their march 
home since midnight, and arc now four or five leagues off, 
and they left us behind, that we might give you the infor- 

38 Froissart's Chronicles. 

mation." The English said that it would be in vain to 
follow them, as they could never overtake them ; but, 
fearing deceit, the lords ordered the trumpeters to close 
coniinement, and did not alter the position of the bat- 
talions until four o'clock. When they saw that the Scots 
were really gone, they gave permission for each to retire 
to his quarters, and the lords held a council to consider 
what was to be done. Some of the English, however, 
mounted their horses, passed the river, and went to the 
mountain which the Scots had quitted, and found more 
than five hundred large cattle, which the enemy had killed, 
as they were too heavy to carry with them, and too slow 
to follow them, and they wished not to let them fall into 
the hands of the English alive. They found there, also, 
more than three hundred caldrons, made of leather with 
the hair on the outside, which were hung on the fires full 
of water and meat, ready for boiling. There were also 
upward of a thousand spits with meat on them, prepared 
for roasting ; and more than ten thousand pairs of old 
worn-out shoes, made of undressed leather, which the 
Scots had left there. There were found five poor English 
prisoners, whom the Scots had bound naked to the trees, 
and some of them had their legs broken. They untied 
them, and sent them away, and then returned to the army, 
just as they were setting out on their march to England, 
by orders from the king and council. 

They followed all that day the banners of the marshals, 
and halted at an early hour in a beautiful meadow, where 
there was plenty of forage for their horses ; and much 
need was there of it, for they were so weakened by fam- 
ine, that they could scarce move. The next day they de- 
camped betimes, and took up their quarters still earlier, at 
a large monastery within two leagues of Durham. The 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 39 

king lay there that night, and the army in the fields around 
it, where they found plenty of grass, pulse, and corn. 
They remained there quiet the next day ; but the king and 
lords went to see the church of Durham. The king paid 
his homage to the church and the bishopric, which he had 
not before done, and gave largesses to the citizens. 

They found there all their carriages and baggage, which 
they had left in a wood thirty-two days before at midnight, 
as has been related. The inhabitants of Durham, finding 
them there, had brought them away at their own cost, and 
placed them in empty barns. Each carriage had a little 
flag attached to it, that it might be known. The lords 
were much pleased at finding them again. 

The king and nobles reposed two days at Durham, and 
the army in its environs, for there would not have been 
sufficient room to lodge them in that city. They had all 
their horses well shod, and set out on their march toward 
York. They made such haste, that in three days they ar- 
rived there, and found the queen mother, who received the 
king and nobles with great joy, as did all the ladies of the 
court and city. The king disbanded the army, and gave 
permission for every one to return to his home, and made 
many acknowledgments to the earls, barons, and knights, 
for the services they had rendered him by their advice and 
prowess. The knights made out their accounts for horses 
which had been ruined or lost, or had died, and gave them 
in to the council ; and also a statement of their own ex- 
penses, which Sir John de Hainault took upon him as his 
own debt toward his followers, for the king and his minis- 
ters could not immediately collect such a sum as their 
horses amounted to ; but he gave them sufficient for 
their own expenses, and to carry them back to their own 

40 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

When the Hainaulters had received their demand for 
horses, they purchased small hackneys to ride more at 
their ease, and sent their carriages, sumpter-horses, trunks, 
and servants on board of two ships, which the king had 
provided for them, and which landed them at Sluys, in 
Flanders. They took leave of the king, queen, the earls 
of Kent and Lancaster, and of all the barons, who paid 
them many honors ; and the king had them escorted by 
twelve knights and two hundred men at arms, for fear of 
the archers, of whom they were not well assured, as they 
must pass through the bishopric of Lincoln. Sir John 
and all his company set out, escorted as above, and by 
easy journeys came to Dover, where they embarked on 
board vessels ready provided for them. The Hainaulters 
arrived at Wissan, where they tarried two days in order 
to deck out their horses and the remains of their armor ; 
during which time Sir John de Hainault and some other 
knights went on a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Boulogne. 
They returned together to Hainault, when they separated, 
and each went to his own house : but Sir John went to his 
brother, who was at that time at Valenciennes ; he was 
received by him with great joy, as he was much beloved 
by him. The Lord of Beaumont then related to him all 
the above-mentioned history. 


King Edward marries the Lady Philippa of Hainault. 

SHORTLY afterwards, the king, queen, the Earl of 
Kent, his uncle, Earl Henry of Lancaster, the Earl 
of Mortimer, and all the barons who were of the council, 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 41 

sent a bishop, two knights bannerets, and two able clerks, 
to Sir John de Hainault, to beg of him to be the means 
that the young king, their lord, should marry ; and that 
the Count of Hainault and Holland would send over one 
of his daughters, for he would love her more dearly, on his 
account, than any other lady. The count said he gave 
many thanks to the king, queen, and the lords by whose 
counsel they were sent thither to do him so much honor ; 
and that he most willingly complied with their request, if 
the pope and the holy Church of Rome would agree. 

They immediately despatched two of the knights and 
the clerks to the pope at Avignon, to entreat his consent ; 
for without the pope's dispensation it could not be done, 
on account of their near relationship ; being in the third 
degree connected, for their two mothers were cousins- 
german, being the children of two brothers. As soon as 
they came to Avignon their business was done, for the 
pope and the college gave their consent most benig- 

When these gentlemen were returned to Valenciennes 
from Avignon, with all their bulls, this marriage was di- 
rectly settled and consented to on each side ; and imme- 
diate preparations were made for the dress and equipage 
of such a lady, who was to be Queen of England. 

She was then married, by virtue of a procuration which 
the King of England had sent thither, and went on board 
a ship at Wissan, and landed at Dover with all her suite. 
Her uncle. Sir John de Hainault, conducted her to Lon- 
don, where she was crowned ; and there were great crowds 
of the nobility, and feastings, tournaments, and sumptuous 
entertainments every day, which lasted for three weeks. 

42 Froissarfs Chronicles. 


Douglas is killed fighting for the Heart of King Robert. 

AFTER the Scots had in the night quitted the moun- 
tain where the young King Edward and the nobles 
of England had held them besieged, as you have before 
heard, they marched twenty-two miles without halting, 
and crossed the Tyne pretty near to Carlisle, where by the 
orders of the chiefs all disbanded and went to their own 
homes. Shortly afterwards some of the lords and barons 
so earnestly solicited the King of England, that a truce 
was agreed on between the two kings for three years. 

During this truce it happened that King Robert of Scot- 
land, who had been a very valiant knight, waxed old, and 
was attacked with so severe an illness that he saw his end 
was approaching : he therefore summoned together all the 
chiefs and barons in whom he most confided, and, after 
having told them that he should never get the better of 
this sickness, he commanded them upon their honor and 
loyalty to keep faithfully the kingdom for his son David, 
to crown him king when he was of a proper age, and to 
marry him with a lady suitable to his station. 

He after that called to him the gallant Lord James 
Douglas, and said to him, in presence of the others, — 

"My dear friend Lord James Douglas, you know that I 
have had much to do, and have suffered many troubles, to 
support the rights of my crown. At the time that I was 
most occupied I made a vow, the non-accomplishment of 
which gives me much uneasiness : I vowed, that, if I could 
finish my wars in such a manner that I might have quiet 

Fro is sari V CI iron ides . 43 

to govern peaceably, I would go and make war against the 
enemies of our Lord Jesus Christ. To this point my heart 
has always leaned ; but our Lord gave me so much to do 
in my lifetime, and this last expedition has delayed me so 
long, followed by this heavy sickness, that, since my body 
cannot accomplish what my heart wishes, I will send my 
heart in the stead of my body to accomplish my vow. 

" I will that as soon as I shall be dead you take my 
heart from my body, and have it well embalmed ; you will 
also take as much money from my treasury as will appear 
to you sufficient to perform your journey, as well as for 
all those whom you may choose to take with you in your 
train : you will then deposit your charge at the Holy 
Sepulchre of our Lord, where he was buried, since my 
body cannot go there. You will not be sparing of expense ; 
and, wherever you pass, you will let it be known that you 
bear the heart of King Robert of Scotland, which you are 
carrying beyond seas by his command, since his body 
cannot go thither." 

All those present began bewailing bitterly ; and, when 
the Lord James could speak, he said, " Gallant and noble 
king, I return you a hundred thousand thanks for the high 
honor you do me, and for the valuable and dear treasure 
with which you intrust me ; and I will most willingly do 
all that you command me, with the utmost loyalty in my 
power. Never doubt it, however I may feel unworthy of 
such a high distinction." 

The king replied, " Gallant knight, I thank you. You 
promise it me, then ? " 

" Certainly, sir ; most willingly," answered the knight. 
He then gave his promise upon his knighthood. 

The king said, " Thanks be to God ! For I shall now 
die in peace, since I know that the most valiant and ac- 

44 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

complished knight of my kingdom will perform that for 
me which I am unable to do for myself." 

Soon afterwards the valiant Robert Bruce, King of 
Scotland, departed this life. His heart was embalmed, 
and his body buried in the monastery of Dunfermline. 

Early in the spring the Lord James Douglas, having 
made provision of every thing that was proper for his 
expedition, embarked at the port of Montrose, and sailed 
directly for Sluys in Flanders, in order to learn if any one 
were going beyond the sea to Jerusalem, that he might 
join companies. He remained there twelve days, and 
would not set his foot on shore, but staid the whole time 
on board, where he kept a magnificent table, with music 
of trumpets and drums, as if he had been the King of 
Scotland. His company consisted of one knight banneret, 
and seven others, of the most valiant knights of Scotland, 
without counting the rest of his household. His plate 
was of gold and silver, consisting of pots, basins, por- 
ringers, cups, bottles, barrels, and other such things. He 
had likewise twenty-six young and gallant esquires of the 
best families in Scotland to wait on him ; and all those 
who came to visit him were handsomely served with two 
sorts of wine, and two sorts of spices, — I mean those of 
a certain rank. At last, after staying at Sluys twelve 
days, he heard that Alphonso, King of Spain, was waging 
war against the Saracen King of Grenada. He considered 
that, if he should go thither, he should employ his time 
and journey according to the late king's wishes ; and, when 
he should have finished there, he would proceed farther, to 
complete that with which he was charged. He made sail 
therefore toward Spain, and landed first at Valencia ; 
thence he went straight to the King of Spain, who was 
with his army on the frontiers, very near the Saracen 
King of Grenada. 

I iiMjMife.^ 


Lord James Douglas throwing the Heart of Bruce among the Saracens. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 45 

It happened, soon after the arrival of the Lord James 
Douglas, that the King of Spain issued forth into the 
fields, to make his approaches nearer tlie enemy : the 
King of Grenada did the same, and each king could easily 
distinguish the other's banners ; and they both began to 
set their armies in array. The Lord James placed himself 
and his company on one side, to make better work and a 
more powerful effort. When he perceived that the bat- 
talions on each side were fully arranged, and that of the 
King of Spain in motion, he imagined they were about to 
begin the onset ; and, as he always wished to be among 
the first rather than last on such occasions, he and all his 
company struck their spurs into their horses, until they 
were in the midst of the King of Grenada's battalion, and 
made a furious attack on the Saracens. He thought that 
he should be supported by the Spaniards ; but in this he 
was mistaken, for not one that day followed his example. 
The gallant knight and all his companions were surrounded 
by the enemy : they performed prodigies of valor, but 
these were of no avail, as they were all killed.* It was a 

* The young readers of Froissart will be interested in some particulars of 
this exploit not given by our author. When Douglas made his first impetu- 
ous onset, it seemed as if he would be successful, even alone. The Saracens 
retreated in confusion, and Douglas and his party were tempted into a hot 
pursuit. " Taking the casket from his neck " (says Hailes, in the Annals of 
Scotland), " which contained the heart of Bruce," Douglas " threw it before 
him, and cried, ' Now pass thou onward, as thou wast wont ; and Douglas 
will follow thee, or die.' " Presently the Saracens rallied, and surrounded the 
Scotch with overwhelming numbers. " Douglas fell while attempting to res- 
cue Sir William Clare of Roslin, who shared his fate. Robert and Walter 
Logan, both of them knights, were slain with Douglas. . . . His few surviv- 
ing companions found his body in the field, together with the casket, and rev- 
erently conveyed them to Scotland. The remains of Douglas were interred 
in the sepulchre of his fathers, in the church of Douglas; and tlie heart of 
Bruce was deposited at Melrose." 

46 Froissarf s Chronicles. 

great misfortune that they were not assisted by the Span- 

About this time many of the nobles and others, desirous 
of a settled peace between the Scots and English, pro- 
posed a marriage between the young King of Scotland 
and the sister of the King of England. This marriage 
was concluded and solemnized at Berwick, with great 
feasts and rejoicings on both sides. 

Philip of Valois crowned King of France. 

CHARLES, King of France, died without heirs male. 
The twelve peers and barons of France assembled at 
Paris without delay, and gave the kingdom with one con- 
sent to Philip of Valois. They passed by the Queen of 
England, and the king her son, although she was cousin- 
german to the king last deceased ; for they said that the 
kingdom of France was of such great nobleness that it 
ought not to fall by succession to a female. They crowned 
the Lord Philip King of France, at Rheims, the Trinity 
Sunday following. 

Froissart's Chronicles. 47 


King Edward is advised by his Council to make War against 
King Philip of France. He effects great Alliances in Ger- 
many, and is made Vicar of the Empire. 

THE Lord Robert d' Artois * was in England very near 
the king's person, whom he was continually advising 
to make war upon the King of France, for wrongfully 
withholding his inheritance. The king saw clearly that it 
was impossible for him, and all the force he could bring 
from his own country, to subdue such a great kingdom as 
that of France, if he did not obtain powerful friends and 
assistance in the empire, and in other parts, by means of 
his money. 

The King of England, when the winter was over, em- 
barked, accompanied by many earls, barons, and knights, 
and came to the city of Antwerp, which at that time was 
held for the Duke of Brabant. He sent to the Duke 
of Brabant, his cousin, his brother-in-law the Duke of 
Gueldres, to the Marquis of Juliers, the Lord John of 
Hainault, and to all those from whom he expected support 
and assistance, that he should be happy to have some con- 
versation with them. 

When all the lords of the empire were assembled in the 
city of Halle, they had long deliberations together, and 
said to the King of England, " Dear sir, there is an ordi- 
nance of a very old date, scaled, that no king of France 

* Who, although he had been the chief supporter of Philip for the crown, 
had afterwards become the object of Philip's violent hatred, and had been 

Ixmi-^lied the kingdom. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 

should take and keep possession of any thing that belongs 
to the empire. Now, King Philip has gotten possession 
of the castles of Crevecoeur in Cambresis, and of Arleux 
in Artois, as well as the city of Cambray ; for which the 
emperor has good grounds to challenge him through us, — 
if you will have the goodness to obtain his consent, in 
order to save our honor." The King of England replied 
that he would cheerfully conform himself to their advice. 

It was then determined that the Marquis of Juliers 
should go to the emperor, and with him knights and 
counsellors from the king, and some from the Duke of 
Gueldres ; but the Duke of Brabant would not send any : 
he lent, however, his castle of Louvain to the king for 
his residence. 

The Marquis of Juliers and his company returned from 
the emperor about All Saints' Day ; and, when he sent to 
inform the king of this, he congratulated him on the good 
success of his mission. The king wrote him for answer 
that he should come to him on the feast of St. Martin, and 
demanded of the Duke of Brabant to name the place where 
he wished this conference to be holden ; who replied, at 
Arques, near to his own country. Upon this the king 
gave notice of it, that all his allies might be there. 

The town-hall of Arques was hung with rich and fine 
cloths, like to the presence-chamber of the king. His 
Majesty was seated five feet higher than the rest of the 
company, and had on his head a rich crown of gold. The 
letters from the emperor to the king were publicly read, 
by which the King of England was constituted and estab- 
lished his vicar and lieutenant, and full powers granted to 
him to do all the acts of law and justice to every one, in 
his name, and also to coin money in gold and silver. 

On this occasion an ancient statute was renewed and 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 49 

confirmed, which had been made in former times at the 
court of the emperor. It directed that any one meaning 
to hurt or annoy another should send him a sufficient 
defiance tliree days before he committed any hostile act ; 
and that whoever should act otherwise should be degraded 
as an evil-doer. When all this was completed, the lords 
took their leave, and gave each other their mutual promises 
to be fully equipped, without delay, three weeks after the 
feast of St. John, to sit down before the city of Cambray ; 
which of right belonged to the emperor, but had turned to 
the French. 


King Edward and his Allies send Challenges to the King of 

WINTER was now over, and the summer come, when, 
the feast of St. John the Baptist approaching, the 
lords of England and Germany made preparations for 
undertaking their intended expedition. The King of 
France also made his preparations to meet them ; for he 
was well acquainted with part of what they intended, 
though he had not yet received any challenge. King Ed- 
ward collected his stores in England, where he made his 
armaments ready ; and, as soon as St. John's Day was 
passed, transported them across the sea to Vilvorde, 
whither he went himself. He made all his people, on 
their arrival, take houses in the town ; and, when this was 
full, he lodged them in tents and pavilions in the fine 
meadows along the side of the river. He remained thus 
from Magdalen Day until the feast of Our Lady in Sep- 
tember, expecting week after week the arrival of the lords 

50 Froissart's Chronicles. 

of the empire, especially the Duke of Brabant, for whom 
all the others were waiting. When the King of England 
saw that they came not, he caused them to be summoned 
to be at the city of Mechlin on St. Giles's Day, according 
to their promises, and give reasons for their delays. 

The lords of Germany, in obedience to the summons, 
came to Mechlin, where, after many debates, they agreed 
that the king should be enabled to march in a fortnight, 
when they would be quite ready ; and, that their cause 
might have a better appearance, they determined to send 
challenges to King Philip. These challenges were written 
and sealed by all except the Duke John of Brabant, who 
said he would do his part at the proper time and place. 
They were given in charge to the Bishop of Lincoln, who 
carried them to Paris, and performed his errand so justly 
and well that he was blamed by no one. He had a pass- 
port granted him to return to his lord, who, as said before, 
was at Mechlin. 


King Edward creates Sir Henry of Flanders a Knight, and 
afterwards marches into picardy. 

AS soon as the King of England had passed the Scheld, 
and had entered the kingdom of France, he called 
to him the Lord Henry of Flanders, who was but a young 
esquire, and knighted him ; at the same time giving him 
two hundred pounds sterling a year, properly secured in 
England. The king was lodged in the abbey of Mont St. 
Martin, where he remained two days. His troops were 
scattered round about in the country. The Duke of 

Froissart's Chronicles. 5 1 

Brabant was quartered at the monastery of Vaucelles. 
When the King of France, who was at Compi^gne, heard 
this news, he increased his forces everywhere, and sent 
the Earl of Eu and Guines, his constable, with a large 
body of men at arms, to St. Quentin, to guard that town 
and the frontiers against his enemies. He sent the Lords 
of Coucy and of Ham to their castles, and a great number 
of men at arms to Guise, Ribemont, Bouchain, and the 
neighboring fortresses on the borders of his kingdom ; 
and came himself to Peronne, in the Vermandois. During 
the time the King of England was at the abbey of Mont 
St. Martin, his people overran the country as far as Ba- 
paurae, and very near to Peronne and St. >Quentin : they 
found it rich and plentiful, for there had not been any 
wars in those parts. 

Sir Henry of Flanders, to do credit to his newly acquired 
knighthood, and to obtain honor, made one of a party of 
knights, who were conducted by Sir John de Hainault. 
There were among them the Lords of Fauquemont, 
Bergues, Vaudresen, Lens, and many others, to the num- 
ber of five hundred combatants. They had a design upon 
a town in the neighborhood, called Hennecourt, whither 
the greater number of the inhabitants of the country 
had retired, who, confiding in the strength of this fortress, 
had carried with them all their movables. Sir Arnold of 
Bacqueghen and Sir William du Dunor had already been 
there, but had done nothing; upon which all these lords 
had collected together, and were desirous of going thither 
to do their utmost to conquer it. There was an abbot 
at that time in Hennecourt, of great courage and under- 
standing, who ordered barriers to be made of woodwork 
around the town, and likewise to be placed across the 
street, so that there was not more than half a foot from 

52 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

one post to another : he then collected armed men, pro- 
vided stones, quicklime, and such like instruments of 
annoyance, to guard them. As soon as the lords above 
mentioned came there, the abbot posted his people be- 
tween the barriers and the gate, and flung the gate open. 
The lords dismounted, and approached the barriers, which 
were very strong, sword in hand ; and great strokes were 
given to those within, who defended themselves very 
valiantly. Sir Abbot did not spare himself ; but, having a 
good leathern jerkin on, dealt about his blows manfully, 
and received as good in his turn. Many a gallant action 
was performed ; and those within the barriers flung upon 
the assailants stones, logs, and pots full of lime, to annoy 

It chanced that Sir Henry of Flanders, who was one of 
the foremost, with his sword attached to his wrist, laid 
about him at a great rate : he came too near the abbot, 
who caught hold of his sword, and drew him to the barriers 
with so much force, that his arm was dragged through the 
grating, for he could not quit his sword with honor. The 
abbot continued pulling ; and, had the grating been wide 
enough, he would have had him through, for his shoulder 
had passed, and he kept his hold, to the knight's great dis- 
comfort. On the other side, his brother knights were 
endeavoring to draw him out of his hands ; and this lasted 
so long, that Sir Henry was sorely hurt : he was, however, 
at last rescued, but his sword remained with the abbot. 
And at the time I was writing this book, as I passed 
through that town, the monks showed me this sword, 
which was kept there, much ornamented. It was there 
that I learnt all the truth of this assault. Hennecourt 
was very vigorously attacked that day ; and it lasted until 
vespers. Many of the assailants were killed or wounded. 

Froissart's Chronicles. 53 

Sir John of Hainault lost a knight from Holland, called 
Sir Herman, who bore for arms a fess compone gules, and 
in chief, three buckles azure. When the Flemings, Hai- 
naulters, English, and Germans, who were there, saw the 
courage of those within the town, and that, instead of 
gaining any advantage, they were beaten down and 
wounded, they retreated in the evening, carrying with 
them to their quarters the wounded and bruised. 

On the next morning the king departed from Mont St. 
Martin, and ordered, under pain of death, that no damage 
should be done to the abbey, which was observed. They 
then entered the Vermandois, and at an early hour took 
up their lodgings on Mont St. Quentin. They were in a 
regular order of battle, and those of St. Quentin might 
have encountered them had they chosen it ; but they had 
no desire to issue out of the town. The scouts of the 
army went up to the barriers, and skirmished with those 
who were there. The Constable of France and Sir Charles 
le Blois drew up their people in order of battle before the 
barriers ; and when the Englishmen, among whom were 
the Earl of Suffolk, the Earl of Northampton, Sir Regi- 
nald Cobham, and many others, saw the manner in which 
it was done, they retreated to the main army of the king, 
which remained encamped on the hill until four o'clock 
the next morning. A council was then held, to consider 
whether they should march straight into France, or draw 
toward Tierache, keeping near the borders of Hainault. 
By the advice of the Duke of Brabant, the latter plan was 
followed, as from that country they drew all their provis- 
ion ; and they resolved, that if King Philip should follow 
them with his army, as they supposed he would, they 
would wait for him in the plains, and give him battle with- 
out fail. They then set out from Mont St. Quentin, 

54 Froissart's Chronicles. 

ranged in a regular order, in three battalions. The 
marshals and the Germans led the van, the King of Eng- 
land the centre, and the Duke of Brabant the rear. They 
advanced not more than three or four leagues a day, halt- 
ing early, but burning and pillaging all the country they 
passed through. 

We must now speak of the expedition of Sir John of 
Hainault, who had with him full five hundred fighting 
men. He came first to Guise, which he burnt, and de- 
stroyed the mills. In the fortress was the Lady Jane, his 
daughter, wife of Lewis, Earl of Blois. She begged of her 
father to spare the lands and heritage of his son-in-law ; 
but in vain, for Sir John would not depart until he had 
completed the purpose of his expedition. He then re- 
turned to the king, who was lodged in the abbey of Sar- 
naques, while his people overran the country. The Lord 
of Fauquemont led sixscore German lances to Lonnion, 
in Tierache, a large level town ; the inhabitants of which 
had almost all retired with what they could carry off into 
the woods, and there had fortified their position by cutting 
down large trees. The Germans followed them, and, being 
joined by Sir Arnold Bacqueghen and his company, they 
attacked the people of Lonnion in the wood, who defended 
themselves as well as they could ; but they were over- 
powered and obliged to flee. There were about fort}^ 
killed and wounded, and all they brought there plundered. 
Thus was this country ruined without any hinderance ; and 
the English acted as they thought proper. 

When the King of England had halted in the cham- 
paign country of Tierache, he was informed that the King 
of France was within two leagues of him, and eager to 
give him battle. He therefore summoned the chiefs of his 
army, and demanded of them the best method of preserv- 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 55 

ing his honor, as his intention was to accept the combat. 
The lords looked at each other, and requested the Duke of 
Brabant to give his opinion. The duke replied, that he 
was for fighting, as they could not depart honorably with- 
out it ; and he advised that a herald should be sent to the 
King of France, to offer him battle, and to fix the day. 
A herald who belonged to the Duke of Gueldres, and 
spoke French well, had this commission. After being 
informed what he was to say, he rode to the French army, 
and, coming to the king and his counsellors, told them 
that the King of England,, having halted in the plains, 
demanded and required the combat of one army against 
the other. To this King Philip answered willingly, and 
appointed the Friday following for the day, this being 
Wednesday, The herald returned back, well clothed with 
handsome furred mantles, which the king and lords of 
France had given him for the sake of the news he had 
brought, and related the good cheer he had received. The 
day being thus fixed, information of it was given to the 
captains of either army, and every one made his prepara- 
tions accordingly. 

On the Thursday morning, two knights belonging to 
the Earl of Hainault, the Lords of Faguinelles and Tu- 
pegny, mounted their steeds ; and these two, leaving their 
own army, set out to view that of the English. They rode 
on for some time boldly along the line of the English army ; 
when it chanced that the horse of the Lord of Faguinelles 
took fright, ran off in spite of all the efforts of his master, 
and carried him, whether he would or no, to the quarters 
of the enemy. He fell into the hands of the Germans, 
who, soon perceiving he did not belong to their party, sur- 
rounded him and his horse, and took him prisoner. He 
remained prisoner to five or six German gentlemen, who 

56 Froissart's Chronicles. 

immediately ransomed him. When they found out that 
he was a Hainaulter, they asked him whether he knew Sir 
John of Hainault ; he repHed, Yes, and begged of them, 
for the love of God, to carry him to him, because he was 
sure he would be security for his ransom. The Germans 
were delighted at this, and carried him to Sir John, who 
pledged himself for his ransom. The Lord of Faguinelles 
thereupon returned to the army of Hainault, to his earl 
and other lords. His steed was returned to him through 
the entreaties of the Lord of Beaumont. Thus passed 
that day without any other thing occurring worthy of 
being recorded. 


The Two Kings retire from Vironfosse without giving Battle. 

IT was a matter of much wonder, how two such fine 
armies could separate without fighting. But the 
French were of contrary opinions among themselves. 
Some said it would be a great shame, and very blamable, 
if the king did not give battle when he saw his enemies 
so near him, and drawn up in his own kingdom in battle 
array : others said it would exhibit a singular instance 
of madness to fight, as they were not certain that some 
treachery was not intended ; besides, if fortune should be 
unfavorable, the king would run a great risk of losing his 
kingdom, and, if he should conquer his enemies, he would 
not be the nearer to gain possession of England or of the 
land of the allies. Thus the day passed until near twelve 
o'clock in disputes and debates. About noon a hare was 
started in the plain, and ran among the French army, who 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 57 

began to make a great shouting and noise, which caused 
those in rear to imagine the combat was begun in front ; 
and many put on their helmets, and made ready their 
swords. Several new knights were made, especially by 
the Earl of Hainault, who knighted fourteen ; and they 
were after called knights of the hare. 

In this situation the two armies remained all Friday. 
In the midst of the debates of the council of the King of 
France, letters were brought from Robert, King of Sicily, 
addressed to him and his council. This King Robert was, 
as they said, a very great astrologer, and full of deep sci- 
ence ; he had often cast the nativities of the kings of 
France and England, and had found by his astrology and 
the influence of the stars, that, if the King of France 
fought with the King of England in person, he would 
surely be defeated ; in consequence of which he, as a wise 
king, and much fearing the danger and peril of his cousin 
the King of France, had sent, long before, letters most 
earnestly to request King Philip and his council never to 
give battle to the English when King Edward should be 
there in person. These doubts, and this letter from the 
King of Sicily, made many of the lords of France sore 
disheartened, of which the king was informed, who never- 
theless was very eager for the combat ; but he was so 
strongly dissuaded from it, that the day passed quietly, 
and each man retired to his quarters. 

When tlie Earl of Hainault saw that there was no like- 
lihood of a battle, he departed with all his people, and 
returned to Ouesnoy. The next day the Germans and 
Brabanters took their leave, and returned to their homes. 
The King of England went to Brabant with the duke, his 
cousin. Thus ended this great expedition, and every man 
returned to his own house. 

58 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

When the king's vessel was ready, he embarked with a 
numerous attendance at Antwerp, and sailed for London, 
where he arrived about St. Andrew's Day, and was joyfully 
received by his suftji^ts, who were anxious for his return. 
Great complaints were made to him of the ravages which 
the Normans, Picards, and Spaniards had committed at 
Southampton ; upon which he answered, that, whenever it 
came to his turn, he would make them pay dearly for it — 
and he kept his word before the end of that year. 


The Sea-Fight between the King of England and the French, 


THE King of England embarked for Flanders, in 
order to go to Hainault to assist his brother-in-law 
in his war against France. He and his whole navy sailed 
from the Thames, the day before the eve of St. John the 
Baptist, 1340, and made straight for Sluys. Sir Hugh 
Ouiriel, Sir Peter Bahucet, and Barbenoire, were at that 
time lying between Blanckenburgh and Sluys with upward 
of one hundred and twenty large vessels, without counting 
others : these were manned with about forty thousand 
men, Genoese and Picards, including mariners. By the 
orders of the King of France, they were there at anchor, 
waiting the return of the King of England, to dispute his 

When the king's fleet was almost got to Sluys, they saw 
so many masts standing before it, that they looked like a 
wood. The king asked the commander of his ship what 
they could be ; who answered, that he imagined they must 

Froiss art's Chronicles. 59 

be that armament of Normans, which the King of France 
kept at sea, and which had so frequently done him much 
damage, had burnt his good town of Southampton, and 
taken his large ship the " Christojitier." The king re- 
plied, " I have for a long time wished to meet with them, 
and now, please God and St. George, we will fight them ; 
for, in truth, they have done me so much mischief, that I 
will be revenged on them if it be possible." The king- 
drew up all his vessels, placing the strongest in the front, 
and on the wings his archers. Between every two vessels 
with archers there was one of men at arms. He stationed 
some detached vessels as a reserve, full of archers, to 
assist and help such as might be damaged. There were 
in this fleet a great many ladies from England, countesses, 
baronesses, and knights' and gentlemen's wives, who were 
going to attend on the queen at Ghent : these the king 
had guarded most carefully by three hundred men at arms 
and five hundred archers. When the King of England 
and his marshals had properly divided the fleet, they 
hoisted their sails to have the wind on their quarter, as 
the sun shone full in their faces, which they considered 
might be of disadvantage to them, and stretched out a 
little, so that at last they got the wind as they wished. 
The Normans, who saw them tack, could not help wonder- 
ing why they did so, and said they took good care to turn 
about, for they were afraid of meddling with them. They 
perceived, however, by his banner, that the king was on 
board, which gave mem great joy, as they were eager to 
fight with him : so they put their vessels in proper order, 
for they were expert and gallant men on the seas. They 
filled the " Christopher," the large ship which they had 
taken the year before from the English, with trumpets 
and other warlike instruments, and ordered her to fall 

6o Froissart's Chronicles. 

upon the English. The battle then began very fiercely ; 
archers and crossbow-men shot with all their might at 
each other, and the men at arms engaged hand to hand. 
In order to be more successful, they had large grapnels, 
and iron hooks with chains, which they flung from ship to 
ship, to moor them to each other. There were many 
valiant deeds performed, many prisoners made, and many 
rescues. The " Christopher," which led the van, was re- 
captured by the English, and all in her taken or killed. 
There were then great shouts and cries, and the English 
manned her again with archers, and sent her to fight 
against the Genoese. 

This battle was very murderous and horrible. Combats 
at sea are more destructive and obstinate than upon the 
land, for it is not possible to retreat or flee : every one 
must abide his fortune, and exert his prowess and valor. 
Sir Hugh Quiriel and his companions were bold and de- 
termined men, had done much mischief to the English at 
sea, and destroyed many of their ships. This combat, 
therefore, lasted from early in the morning until noon ; 
and the English were hard pressed, for their enemies were 
four to one, and the greater part men who had been used 
to the sea. The king, who was in the flower of his youth, 
showed himself on that day a gallant knight, as did the 
Earls of Derby, Pembroke, Hereford, Huntingdon, North- 
ampton, and Gloucester ; the Lord Reginald Cobham, Lord 
Felton, Lord Bradestan, Sir Richard Stafford, the Lord 
Percy, Sir Walter Manny, Sir Henry de Flanders, Sir 
John Beauchamp, Sir John Chandos, the Lord Delaware, 
Lucie Lord Malton, and the Lord Robert d'Artois, now 
called Earl of Richmond. I cannot remember all the 
names of those who behaved so valiantly in the combat ; 
but they did so well, that, with some assistance from 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 6i 

Bruges and those parts of the country, the French were 
completely defeated, and all the Normans and the others 
killed or drowned, so that not one of them escaped. This 
was soon known all over Flanders ; and, when it came to 
the two armies before Thin-l'Eveque, the Hainaulters were 
as much rejoiced as their enemies were dismayed. 

After the king had gained this victory, which was on 
the eve of St. John's Day, he remained all that night on 
board of his ship before Sluys ; and there were great 
noises with trumpets, and all kinds of other instruments. 
The Flemings came to wait on him, having heard of his 
arrival, and what deeds he had performed. The king in- 
quired of the citizens of Bruges after Jacob von Artaveld ; 
and they told him he was gone to the aid of the Earl of 
Hainault with upward of sixty thousand men, against the 
Duke of Normandy. On the morrow, which was Midsum- 
mer Day, the king and his fleet entered the port. As soon 
as they were landed, the king, attended by crowds of 
knights, set out on foot on a pilgrimage to Our Lady of 
Ardembourg, where he heard mass, and dined. He then 
mounted his horse, and went that day to Ghent, where the 
queen was, who received him with great joy and kindness. 
The army and baggage, with the attendants of the king, 
followed him by degrees to the same place. 

The king had sent notice of his arrival to the lords that 
were before Thin-l'Eveque, opposing the French ; who, as 
soon as they heard of it, and of his victory over the Nor- 
mans, broke up their camp. The Earl of Hainault dis- 
banded all his troops, except the principal lords, whom he 
carried with him to Valenciennes, and treated most nobly, 
especially the Duke of Brabant, and Jacob von Artaveld. 
Jacob von Artaveld, in the full market-place, explained the 
right King Edward had to the crown of France, to all 

62 Froissarfs Chro7iicles. 

those lords that chose to hear him, and o£ what importance 
it was to the three countries, — that is to say, Flanders, 
Brabant, and Hainault, — when closely united. He spoke 
so clearly, and with so much eloquence, that he was praised 
by all, who agreed that he was worthy to exercise the dig- 
nity of Earl of Flanders. These lords then took their 
leave, and agreed to meet in eight days' time at Ghent, to 
see the king. A day of conference was then appointed to 
be held at Vilvorde. 

It was then determined that the King of England 
should move about Magdalen-tide, and lay siege to the city 
of Tournay ; and all the lords present promised to be 
there, as well as all the forces from the principal towns. 
They then set off for their homes, to get ready, and pre- 
pare themselves properly for the business. 


The King of England besieges the City of Tournay with a 
Powerful Army. 

KING PHILIP, soon after the departure of these lords, 
was informed of all that had passed, and how King 
Edward was to come to Tournay : he therefore determined 
to provide it su well with ammunition, &c., and with so 
many good knights, that the city should be well served 
and well advised. He sent directly to the city of Tournay 
the flower of his chivalry, — the Earl Raoul of Eu, Con- 
stable of France ; the young Earl of Guines, his son ; the 
Earl of Foix, and his brothers, the Earl of Aymery and 
Narbonne ; the Lord Aymery of Poitiers ; the Lord Geof- 
fry of Chargny ; the Lord Gerard of Montfaucon ; his two 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 6'^^ 

marshals, the Lord Robert Bertrand, and Lord Matthew 
de Trie ; the Lord of Caieux, seneschal of Poitou ; the 
Lord of Chatillon ; and Sir John of Landas, — who had 
with them many knights and esquires renowned in arms. 
The king entreated of them earnestly that they would pay 
so much care and attention to Tournay, that nothing un- 
fortunate might happen ; which they all promised him. 
They took leave of the King of France, left Arras, and ar- 
rived at Tournay, where they found Sir Godemar du Fay, 
who had been sent thither before them. He received them 
joyfully, as did those of the town ; and, after having well 
examined the purveyances which were there, as well of 
artillery as of provision, they ordered great quantities of 
corn, oats, and other articles of food, to be brought into it 
from the country round about, so that the city was in a 
good state to hold out for a long time. 

The King of England, when the time for being before 
Tournay approached, and the corn was nearly ripe, set out 
from Ghent, accompanied by seven earls from his own 
country, two prelates, twenty-eight bannerets, two hundred 
knights, four thousand men at arms, and nine thousand 
archers, without counting the foot-soldiers. He passed 
through the town of Oudenarde, crossed the Scheld, and 
encamped before Tournay, near St. Martin's Gate, on the 
road to Lisle and Douay. Soon after came his cousin, the 
Duke of Brabant, with upward of twenty thousand men, 
knights and esquires, and the companies from the differ- 
ent towns. The Brabanters were encamped at Pontaries 
upon the Scheld, as you return from the fields by the gate 
Valcntinois. The Earl of Hainault came with the fine 
cavalry of his country, with many Dutchmen and Zealand- 
ers, who attended upon his person as their lord. The earl 
was encamped between the King of England and the 

64 Froissart's Chronicles. 

Duke of Brabant. Jacob, von Artaveld came next with 
more than forty thousand Flemings, not reckoning those 
from Ypres, Poperingue, Cassel, and Bruges, who were 
ordered to another part, as you will hear presently. He 
was quartered near the gate St. Fontaine, on both sides of 
the Scheld, over which they had thrown a bridge of boats, 
that they might have free intercourse. The Duke of 
Gueldres, the Earl of Juliers, the Marquis of Blancken- 
berg, the Marquis of Nuys, the Earl of Mons, the Earl of 
Savines, the Lord of Fauquemont, Sir Arnold de Bacque- 
ghen, and all the Germans, were stationed on the side 
toward Hainault, so that the city of Tournay was very 
completely surrounded. Each division of the army had 
open communication with each other ; and no one could 
enter or come out of the city without permission, or with 
out being seen. 


The Scots recover Great Part of their Country during the 
Siege of Tournay. 

FOR the present we must return to Scotland, and see 
what is going on there during this siege of Tournay. 
The reader should be informed that Sir William Doug- 
las, son of the brother of Sir James Douglas, who was 
killed in Spain, the Earl of Moray, the Earl Patrick of 
Dunbar, the Earl of Sutherland, Sir Robert Keith, Sir 
Simon Fraser, and Alexander Ramsay, had remained as 
governors of the remnant of Scotland that was not in the 
possession of the English. During the space of seven 
years they had secreted themselves in the forest of Jed- 
worth, in winter as well as summer, and thence had car- 

Froissart's Chronicles. 65 

ried on a war against all the towns and fortresses wherein 
King Edward had placed any garrisons ; in which many- 
perilous and gallant adventures befell them, and from 
which they acquired much honor and renown. While 
King Edward was beyond sea, before Tournay, the King 
of France sent over some forces to Scotland, which arrived 
safe in the town of Perth ; and he entreated the noblemen 
above mentioned to carry on so bitter a war in England 
that King Edward should be obliged to desist from his 
present enterprise before Tournay, promising them every 
aid and assistance : in consequence of which these lords 
collected their forces, and made themselves ready. They 
quitted the forest of Jedworth, traversed Scotland, retook 
as many fortresses as they were able, passed by Berwick, 
and, crossing the river Tyne, entered Northumberland, 
which was formerly a kingdom of itself, where they found 
plenty of fat cattle. Having wasted and burnt the whole 
country as far as Durham, and even beyond it, they re- 
entered Scotland, and gained all the fortresses which the 
King of England held, except the good town of Berwick, 
and three other castles which annoyed them much, and 
which are so strong that you will scarcely find their equals 
for strength in any country : one is called Stirling, the 
other Roxburgh, and the third, which may be styled the 
sovereign of Scotland, Edinburgh. This last is situate 
upon a high rock, commanding a view of the country 
round about ; and the mountain has so steep an ascent, 
that few can go up it without stopping twice or thrice. 
The governor of it at that time was a gallant English 
knight, called Sir Walter Limousin. 

A bold thought came into Sir William Douglas's mind, 
which he mentioned to his companions, the Earl of Dun- 
bar, Sir Robert Eraser, who had been tutor to King David 

66 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

of Scotland, and Alexander Ramsay, who all agreed to 
try to execute it. They collected upward of two hundred 
lances of Highlanders, went to sea, and purchased oats, 
oatmeal, coal, and straw, and landed peaceably at a port 
about three miles from the castle of Edinburgh, which 
had made a stronger resistance than all the other castles. 
When they had armed themselves, they issued forth in 
the night-time ; and having chosen ten or twelve from 
among them, in whom they had the greatest confidence, 
they dressed them in old, threadbare clothes, with torn 
hats, like poor tradesmen, and loaded twelve small-- horses, 
with a sack to each, filled with oats, meal, or coal ; they 
then placed the rest in ambuscade in an old abbey, that 
was ruined and uninhabited, close to the foot of the moun- 
tain on which the castle was situate. At daybreak these 
merchants, who were privily armed, took the road with 
their horses, the very best way they could, toward the 
castle. When they had got about half-way up the hill, 
Sir William Douglas and Sir Simon Fraser advanced be- 
fore the others, whom they ordered to follow in silence, 
and came to the porter's lodge. They informed him that 
they had brought, with many risks and fears, coal, oats, 
and meal ; and, if there were any want of such articles, they 
should be glad to dispose of them, and at a cheap rate. 
The porter replied, that the garrison would thankfully 
have them, but it was so early that he dared not awake 
either the governor or his steward. At the same time he 
told them to come forward, and he would open the other 
gate. They all then passed quietly through, and entered 
with their loads to the gate of the barriers, which he 
opened for them. 

Sir William Douglas had remarked that the porter had 
all the great keys of the castle-gates ; and had, in an 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 6*] 

apparently indifferent manner, inquired which opened the 
great gate, and which the wicket. When the first gate 
was opened, they turned in their nags, and flung off the 
loads of two, which consisted of coal, directly upon the 
sill of the gate, so that it could not be shut ; and then 
seized the porter, whom they slew so suddenly that he did 
not utter a word. They then took the keys, and opened 
all the gates, and Sir William Douglas gave a blast upon 
his horn as a signal for his companions ; they then flung 
off their torn clothes, and placed all the remainder of the 
coal between the gates, so that they could not be shut. 
When those in the ambuscade heard the horn, they sallied 
forth, and hastened forward to the castle. The noise of 
the horn awakened the watch of the castle, at that time 
asleep, who, seeing these armed men running up the 
castle hill, blew lustily on his horn, and bawled out, 
" Treason ! treason ! Arm yourselves, my masters, as fast 
as you can ; for here are men at arms advancing to our 
fortress." They all roused themselves as quickly as they 
could, and when armed came to the gate ; but Sir William 
and his twelve companions defended the gate, so that it 
could not be shut. The combat then grew hotter ; but 
those from without maintained their ground with great 
valor, until their ambuscade arrived. The garrison made 
a very gallant defence, killing and wounding many of their 
enemies ; but Sir William and his party exerted them- 
selves so much, that the fortress was taken, and all the 
English killed, except the governor and six esquires, to 
whom they showed mercy. The Scots remained in the 
castle all that day, and appointed for governor a squire of 
that country, called Sir Simon de Vesci, and left with him 
many of his countrymen. This news was brought to the 
King of England while he lay before Tournay. 


6S Froissarfs Chronicles. 


Sir William de Bailleul and Sir Vauflart de la Croix make an 
Excursion to Pont-a-Tressin. 

THE King of France published a special summons 
throughout his kingdom, and also in many parts of 
the empire, for levying of forces. It had so good an 
effect, that Charles, King of Bohemia, the Duke of Lor- 
rain, the Earl of Bar, the Bishop of Metz, the Bishop of 
Verdun, the Earl of Montbeliard, the Lord John of Cha- 
lons, the Earl of Geneva, the Earl of Savoy, and the Lord 
Lewis, his brother, came to serve under the King of 
France, with as many men as they could collect together. 
There came to him also, the Dukes of Brittany, Burgundy, 
and Bourbon, the Earls of Alengon, Flanders, Foretz, 
Armagnac, Blois, Harcourt, and Dammartin, the Lord 
Charles of Blois, the Lord of Coucy, and many other 
knights and barons. The King of Navarre afterwards 
came with a number of men at arms, to serve for the lands 
he held in France, and for which he was a homager to the 
king. The King of Scotland was also there, under the- 
appointment of the King of France, and had a handsome 
body of men given him. 

Soon after the King of France had taken up his quar- 
ters, with his army, near the bridge of Bouvines, a com- 
pany of Hainaulters put themselves in motion by the 
exhortations of Sir Vauflart de la Croix, who told them he 
knew all the country well, and he could lead them to a 
part of the French army which they would be sure of 
conquering. About one hundred and twenty of them, 

Froissart^s Chronicles. 69 

knights and esquires, set out one day through love to each 
other, to do some deeds of arms, and advanced toward 
Pont-a-Tressin. They made the Lord of Bailleul their 
captain, and it was under liis banner that they were to 

That same morning, some of the Liegeois made also an 
excursion, under the command of Sir Robert de Bailleul, 
brother-german to the above-mentioned Sir William de 
Bailleul ; for he had made a promise to do this, to the 
Bishop of Liege, and was bound to execute it with his 
whole company. The Liegeois had passed Pont-a-Tressin, 
were foraging for their horses, and looking out to see if 
they could find any chance to profit by. The Hainaulters 
had rode on, and passed the bridge, without meeting with 
any one ; for there was such a fog that they could not 
distinguish any thing at the distance of a lance's-length. 
When all had passed the bridge, they ordered Sir William 
de Bailleul and his banner to remain there, and Sir Vau- 
flart de la Croix, Sir Raflet de Monceaux, and Sir John 
de Verchin, to advance as far as the quarters of the King 
of Bohemia, and Bishop of Liege, which were near the 
bridge, and to attack them. The Lord of Rodemach had 
had the guard that night of the army of the King of Bo- 
hemia, and was on the point of retiring, when the light- 
horse of the Hainaulters appeared. They attacked them, 
as they came up, very valiantly; and they were repulsed 
also by the Liegeois. The conflict was- sharp, and the 
Hainaulters behaved themselves well. To secure a re- 
treat, however, to their banner, the Hainaulters drew 
toward the bridge, where they were followed by those of 
Liege and Luxembourg, and the engagement was renewed. 
Sir William de Bailleul was advised to recross the bridge 
with his banner, for many of his people remained there ; 

yo Froissarfs Cliro7iicles. 

and many a gallant deed was performed, many a capture 
made, and many a rescue. Sir Vauflart, unluckily, was 
not able to gain the passage of the bridge : so he got out 
of the crowd, and saved himself the best way he could, by 
taking a road he was acquainted with, and hiding himself 
among thorns and quagmires, where he remained a con- 
siderable time. The rest still continued the combat ; but 
the Liegeois, and those from Luxembourg, had overthrown 
Sir William de Bailleul. 

While this was passing, Sir Robert's company, who had 
been out foraging, returned, and, hearing the noise, came 
to the bridge. Sir Robert ordered his banner to advance, 
which was carried by a squire called James de Forsines, 
crying out, "Moriennes." The Hainaulters, who were 
much heated, perceiving the banner of Moriennes, which 
is quite straight, thought it was their own, which they had 
been ordered to rally under, for there is but very little 
difference between the two ; the Morienne arms having 
bars counterbarred with two chevrons, gules, and the 
chevron of Sir Robert had on it a small cross or. The 
Hainaulters made a sad mistake, and ran into the midst 
of Sir Robert's troop, who received them most fiercely, 
repulsed and discomfited them. They lost, on their side, 
Sir John de Vargny, Sir Walter de Pont-a-l'Arche, Sir 
William de Pipempoix, Sir John de Soire, Sir Daniel de 
Bleze, Sir Race de Monceaux, Sir Lewis Dampelu, and 
many other knights and squires. Sir William de Bailleul 
saved himself in the best manner he could, but he lost a 
great many of his men. Sir Vauflart de la Croix, who 
hid himself among the reeds in the marshes, hoped to 
have remained there until the night, but he was perceived 
by some troopers who were riding through these marshes : 
they made such a shouting and noise, that Sir Vauflart 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 71 

came out, and surrendered himself to them, who led him 
to the army, and gave him up to their commander. He 
detained him a whole day in his quarters, and would will- 
ingly, through pity, have saved him, as he knew his head 
would probably suffer. But the King of France, having 
heard of it, wished to take cognizance of it himself : so Sir 
Vauflart was given up to him, and the king sent him to 
Lisle, where, as he had done much harm to the inhabit- 
ants, they would not accept of any ransom, but put him 
to death. 


The Earl of Hainault attacks the Fortress of Mortagne in 
Various M.vnners. 

THE King of France was much rejoiced at the arrival 
of Sir Robert de Bailleul, and his defeat of the Hai- 
naulters. Shortly afterwards, the Earl of Hainault, Sir 
John his uncle the seneschal of Hainault, with full six 
hundred lances, Flainaulters and Germans, set out from 
the siege before Tournay. The earl had sent orders for 
those of Valenciennes to take another route, and place 
themselves between the Scarpe and the Scheld, to attack 
the town of Mortagne. They came there in a large body, 
and brought with them many engines, to throw things 
into the -place. I have before told how the Lord' of Beau- 
jeu had been sent thither as governor. He had expected 
an attack, from the situation of Mortagne upon the Scheld, 
and bordering upon Hainault, and had driven upward of 
twelve hundred piles in the bed of the river to prevent its 
navigation. It was not long before the carl and his Hai- 
naulters arrived on one side of the town, and the Valen- 

72 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

ciennois on the other. They made preparations for an 
immediate attack. The Valenciennois ordered their cross- 
bow-men to shoot, and to advance to the barriers ; but 
they were unable to do so, on account of the wide and 
deep trenches which had been made before them. They 
then bethought themselves to cross the Scarpe at any rate 
below Chateau I'Abbaie, and, passing near St. Amand, to 
make an assault upon the gate which opens toward Mande, 
This they executed, and full four hundred troops crossed 
the river, and Mortagne's three gates were besieged. The 
weakest was certainly that leading to Mande : however, 
that was tolerably strong. 

At that post the Lord of Beaujeu placed himself ; for 
he knew that all the rest were safe. He had armed him- 
self with a very stout lance, having the head of tempered 
steel, and on the under side a sharp hook, so that, when 
he made his stroke, he could fix the hook into the jackets 
or armor of those who attacked, draw them to him, and 
make them fall into the river. By this means, in the 
course of the day, he caught and destroyed more than 
twelve of the assailants. At this gate the conflict was 
much more severe than anywhere else, and the Earl of 
Hainault was ignorant of it : he was hard by toward Bris- 
nal, drawn out in order of battle, upon the bank of the 
Scheld. The lords took counsel how they might draw out 
the piles, either by force or ingenuity, from the bed of the 
river, so that they might advance upon it up to the walls 
of the town. They ordered an engine to be made in a 
large vessel, for the purpose of drawing them out one after 
another, and all the carpenters were directly set upon this 
business. This same day the Valenciennois, on their part, 
erected a handsome engine, which cast stones into the 
town and castle, and much annoyed the inhabitants of 

Froissarfs Chronicles. jt, 

Mortagne. In this manner passed the first day and the 
following night. On the morrow they returned to the 
attack on all sides. The third day the vessel and engine 
were ready to draw out the piles, and those ordered to 
that duty were set to work ; but they had so much trouble 
and labor in drawing out one, that the lords thought they 
should never accomplish it, and therefore made them de- 
sist. There was at that time a very able engineer at Mor- 
tagne, who, having considered the machine of the Valen- 
ciennois, and how much it annoyed the town, — for it was 
perpetually in action, — made another in the castle, which 
was not very large, but well made and tempered, and so 
well pointed that it was used only three times. The first 
stone fell within twelve paces of the engine of the Valen- 
ciennbis ; the second was nearer to the box ; and the third 
was so well aimed that it struck the machine upon the 
shaft, and split it in two. The soldiers of Mortagne made 
a great shouting at this event. The Hainaulters were 
thus two days and two nights before Mortagne without 
conquering any part of it. The earl and his uncle thought 
it advisable to return toward Tournay, which they did ; 
and the Valenciennois went back to their town whence 
they had come. 


The Earl of Hainault takes the Town of St. Amand during 
THE Siege of Tournay. 

THREE days after the Earl of Hainault had returned 
from before Mortagne, he made a request to his 
companions that they would come with him to St. Amand ; 
for he had received many complaints of the soldiers of 

74 Froissart's Chronicles. 

St. Amand having burnt the monastery of Hanon, and 
of. their attempt to do the same at Vicoigne, as well as of 
many other troubles which they had wrought upon the 
borders of Hainault. The earl set out from the siege of 
Tournay with three thousand combatants, and came before 
St. Amand by the way of Mortagne, which town was only 
enclosed with a palisade, A knight from Languedoc, and 
seneschal of Carcassonne, was governor of it ; and he had 
told the monks of the abbey, as well as the inhabitants, 
that it was not tenable against any body of men, not that 
he meant to give it up, but on the contrary to defend it as 
long as he could, and mentioned it merely as a piece of 
information. These words were not much attended to, or 
believed : however, he had some time before sent to Mor- 
tagne all the jewels of the monastery, and thither vi^ent 
also the abbot and his monks, who were not very well 
calculated to defend themselves. 

The Valenciennois, who had been ordered by the carl 
their lord to be before St. Amand on a certain day, came 
with twelve thousand combatants, and, posting themselves 
before the town, armed all the crossbow-men, and made 
them advance toward the bridge over the Scarpe. The 
conflict was here very sharp : it lasted all that day, without 
the Valenciennois being able to make any impression ; but 
they had a great many of their men killed and wounded, 
and the besieged, mocking them, called out, " Go your 
ways, and drink your good ale." Towards the evening 
they retired from before the town, much wearied, and sur- 
prised that they had not heaird any tidings of their lord. 
They called a council, and resolved to return back to their 
own town. On the morrow after their departure, the Earl 
of Hainault arrived, as has been said, by the way of Mor- 
tagne, and he immediately began the attack : it was so 

Froissart's Chronicles. 75 

violent that the barriers were instantly won, and they ad- 
vanced to the gate which opens toward Mortagne. The 
earl and his uncle headed this attack : they fought most 
valiantly, and spared none. Each of them at this place 
received two such blows from stones thrown down upon 
them, that their helmets were split through, and them- 
selves stunned. One present then said to the earl, " Sir, 
we shall never do any thing effectual in this place, for the 
gate is very strong, the passage narrow, and it will cost 
you too many of your people to gain it ; but if you will 
oi'der some large beams of wood to be brought, and shod 
with iron in the manner of piles, and strike with them 
against the walls of the monastery, I will promise you 
that you will make breaches in many places. If once 
we get into the monastery, the town is ours, for there is 
nothing to stop us between it and the town." The earl 
ordered this advice to be followed ; for he perceived it was 
reasonable, and the shortest method of getting possession 
of the town. Great beams of oak were brought, formed, 
and sharpened like piles ; and to each were ordered twen- 
ty or thirty men, who, bearing it in their hands, retreated 
some paces, and then ran with it with great force against 
the wall, which they battered down in many places, so 
that they entered valiantly, and crossed a small rivulet. 

The seneschal of Carcassonne was there, with his ban- 
ner displayed before him, which was gules, with a chef 
argent, three chevrons in chief, and an indented border, 
argent; and near him were collected many companions 
from his own country, who received the Hainaulters very 
gallantly, and fought as well as they were able ; but it was 
in vain, as they were overpowered by numbers. It may 
be worth remembering, that, on their entering the monas- 
tery, there remained a monk called Sir Froissart, who did 

76 Froissart's Chronicles. 

wonders, killing and wounding, at one of the breaches 
where he had posted himself, upward of eighteen, so that 
no one durst venture to pass through. At last he was 
forced to fly, for he perceived that the Hainaulters were 
entering the monastery by various other breaches : the 
monk therefore made off as fast as he could, and saved 
himself in Mortagne. As soon as the earl, Sir John, 
and the knights of Hainault had entered the monastery, 
the earl ordered no quarter to be given, so much was 
he enraged at the violences they had committed in his 
territories. The town was soon filled with soldiers, who 
pursued all they met from street to street, and from house 
to house : very few escaped being put to death. The sen- 
eschal was slain under his banner, and upward of two 
hundred men with him. The earl returned that evening 
to Tournay. 

On the morrow the men at arms of Valenciennes and 
the commonalty came to St. Amand, burnt the town, the 
monastery, and the great minster ; breaking and destroy- 
ing all the bells, of which there were numbers of very 
good and melodious ones. The Earl of Hainault made 
another excursion from the siege of Tournay, with about 
six hundred men at arms, in order to burn Orchies, Lan- 
zas, and Le Celle. He afterwards crossed, with his army, 
the river Scarpe above Hanon, and, entering France, came 
before a large and rich monastery at Marchiennes, of 
which Sir Ayme de Vervaulx was governor, who had with 
him a detachment of crossbow-men from Douay. The 
attack was violent ; for the knight had strongly fortified 
the first gate, which was surrounded by wide and deep 
ditches, and the French and monks vvithinside defer ^^ ^d 
themselves valiantly. The Hainaulters exerted them- 
selves much ; and, having procured boats, they by this 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 77 

means gained entrance into the monastery : but a German 
knight, attached to the Lord of Fauquemont, was drowned ; 
his name was Sir Bacho de la Wiere. At the attack of 
the gate, the earl, his uncle the seneschal of Hainault, 
and many others, proved themselves such good knights, 
that the gate was gained, Sir Ay me slain, and the greater 
part of the others. Many monks who were there were 
captured, the monastery pillaged and burnt, as well as 
the village. The earl after this returned with his army to 


Sir Charles de Montmorency, and many others of the French, 


THE siege of Tournay lasted a long time, and the 
town held out well ; but the King of England 
thought he must gain it, for he knew that there were 
within it great numbers of men at arms, and a scarcity 
of provision, which would oblige them to yield through 
hunger. But others said that they would find supplies 
through the country of the Brabanters, who permitted 
frequent and large quantities of provisions to pass through 
their army, and even to enter the town. Those from 
Brussels and Louvain were quite weary of remaining 
there so long, and petitioned the marshal of their army 
for leave to return to Brabant. The marshal replied that 
he was very willing to consent to their departure, but 
they must leave their arms and accoutrements behind 
t-Kem. This made them so ashamed, that they never 
again repeated their request. During this siege, the Ger- 
mans made an excursion toward Pont-i-Tressin, where Sir 

78 FroissarVs Chronicles. 

Robert de Bailleul had defeated the Hainaulters. The 
Lord of Rauderondenc, Sir John of Rauclerondenc his 
son (at that time a squire), Sir John de Randebourgh (a 
squire also, and tutor to the Lord of Rauderondenc's son). 
Sir Arnold de Bacqueghen, Sir Reginald d'Escouvenort, 
Sir Courrat d' Astra, Sir Bastien de Basties, Candrejier 
his brother, the Lord Strauren de Leurne, with many- 
others, from the duchies of Juliers and Gueldres, held a 
conference together, and resolved to make an excursion 
on the morrow, by break of day ; for which purpose they 
armed and prepared themselves well that night. 

Some knights bachelors from Hainault joined them; 
among whom were Sir Florent de Beaurieu, Sir Latas de 
la Haye (marshal of the army), the Lord John of Hainault, 
Sir Oulphart de Guistelles, Sir Robert Glewes from the 
county of Los (at that time only a squire), and many more ; 
amounting altogether to upward of three hundred good 
men at arms. They came to Pont-a-Tressin, which they 
crossed without loss. They then held a council, on what 
would be the most advantageous plan for them to beat up 
and skirmish with the army of the French. It was deter- 
mined that the Lord of Rauderondenc, and his son. Sir 
Henry de Kalkren, a mercenary knight, Sir Thilman de 
Saussy, Sir Oulphart de Guistelles, Sir I'Alleman of 
Hainault, Sir Robert Glewes, and Jacquelot de Thiaulx, 
should act as light-horse, and skirmish up to the tents of 
the French; that the rest of the knights and squires, who 
might amount to three hundred, should remain at the 
bridge to keep and defend that pass in case of any 
attack. This advanced body then set out : they were 
forty persons altogether, well mounted upon handsome 
and strong chargers. They rode on till they came to the 
French camp, when they immediately dashed in, and be- 

Froissart's Chronicles. 79 

gan to cut down tents and pavilions, and do every possible 
damage by skirmishing with all that opposed them. That 
night two great barons, the Lord of Montmorency and 
the Lord of Saulieii, had the watch, and were with their 
guard when the Germans fell upon them. As soon as 
they heard the noise, they and their banners moved 
toward it. 

When the Lord of Rauderondenc saw them approach, 
he turned his horse about, and ordered his pennon and 
his party to push for the bridge, the French following him 
closely. In this chase the French captured Sir Oulphart 
de Guistelles ; for he could not follow their track, his 
sight being indifferent. He was surrounded by the enemy, 
and made prisoner, as were two esquires of the names 
of Mondrop and Jacquelot de Thiaulx. The French gal- 
loped after them, but the Germans escaped ; and, being 
scarcely more than half an acre separated from them, 
they could plainly hear them crying out, " Ha, gentlemen ! 
you shall not return as easy as you came." Then one 
of his party rode up to the Lord of Rauderondenc, and 
said, " Sir, consider what you are about, or the French 
will cut us off from the bridge." The Lord of Rauderon- 
denc replied, " If they know one road to it, I know an- 
other;" and, turning to his right, led his party along a 
road tolerably well beaten, v/hich brought them straight 
to the river before mentioned, which is very deep, and 
surrounded by marshes. On their coming thither they 
found they could not ford it, so that they must return, 
and pass over the bridge. The French, thinking to cut 
off and take the Germans, went on full gallop toward the 
bridge. When they were come near to it, and saw the 
large body of men waiting for them, they said to one 
another^ "We are making a foolish pursuit, and may 

8o Froissart's Chronicles. 

easily lose more than we can gain;" upon which many 
turned back, particularly the banner-bearer of the Lord 
of Saulieu, as well as that lord himself. But the Lord 
of Montmorency would not retire, but pushed forward 
courageously, and with his party attacked the Germans. 
This attack was very fierce on both sides, and each 
party had many unhorsed. While they were engaged, 
the light troops made a circuit, and fell upon their flank : 
notwithstanding this, and the hard blows given, the F'rench 
stood their ground. But Sir Reginald d'Escouvenort, 
knowing the banner of Montmorency, under which the 
knight was, with sword in hand, dealing his blows about 
him, came up on his right hand, and, with his left hand 
seizing the reins of his horse, stuck spurs into his own, 
and drew him out of the combat. The Lord of Mont- 
morency gave many blows with his sword upon the 
helmet and back of Sir Reginald, which at once broke 
and received them. However, the Lord of Montmorency 
remained his prisoner ; and the Germans fought so well, 
that they maintained their ground, and made fourscore 
gentlemen prisoners. They then repassed the bridge 
without hindrance, and returned to Tournay, where each 
retired to his own quarters. 


The Siege of Tournay raised by Means of a Truce. 

THE siege of Tournay had lasted a long time (eleven 
weeks, all but three days), when the lady of John 
de Valois — sister to the King of France, and mother to 
the Earl of Hainault — took great pains with both parties 

Froissarf s Chronicles. 

to make up a peace, so that they might separate without 
a battle. The good lady had frequently, on her knees, 
besought it of the King of France. She at last so far 
prevailed, by the help and assistance of the Lord Lewis 
d'Augimont, who was well beloved by both parties, that a 
day was fixed for a negotiation, when each of the parties 
was to send five well-qualified persons to treat upon the 
best means of bringing about a reconciliation. These 
commissioners were to meet at a chapel situated in the 
fields, called Esplotin. On the day appointed, having 
heard mass, they assembled after dinner, and took the 
lady with them. When they had all entered this chapel, 
they saluted each other most politely, with every mark of 
respect : they then began on the business. This first day, 
however, passed away without any thing being decided. 
The next day they came to their appointment, began on 
the treaty as before, and fell upon some arrangement that 
seemed likely to end to their mutual satisfaction. The 
third day these lords returned, and agreed upon a truce, to 
last for one year, between the kings and all the allies that 
were present. 

The truce was immediately proclaimed in each army, 
to the great joy of the Brabanters, who were heartily tired 
of the siege. The day after, at daybreak, tents and pavil- 
ions were struck, wagons loaded, and every one in motion 
to depart. 

Thus the good city of Tournay remained unhurt ; but it 
had a narrow escape, for there were no more provisions in 
it than would have been sufificient for three or four days. 

82 Froissart's Chronicles. 

King Edward institutes the Order of St. George, at Windsor. 


BOUT this time the King of England resolved to 
rebuild and embellish the great castle of Windsor, 
which King Arthur had first founded in time past, and 
where he had erected and established that noble Round 
Table from which so many gallant knights had issued 
forth, and displayed the valiant prowess of their deeds at 
arras over the world. King Edward therefore determined 
to estabhsh an order of knighthood, consisting of himself, 
his children, and the most gallant knights in Christendom, 
to tiie number of forty. He ordered it to be denominated 
" knights of the blue garter," and that the feast should be 
celebrated every year at Windsor, upon St. George's Day 
He summoned, therefore, all the earls, barons, and knights 
of his realm, to inform them of his intentions. They 
heard it with great pleasure ; for it appeared to them 
highly honorable, and capable of increasing love and 
friendship. Forty knights were then elected, according to 
report and estimation the bravest in Christendom, who 
sealed and swore to maintain and keep the feast and the 
statutes which had been made. The king founded a 
chapel at Windsor, in honor of St. George, and established 
canons there to serve God, with a handsome endowment. 
He then issued his proclamation fo\^ this feast by his 
heralds, whom he sent to France, Scotland, Burgundy, 
Hainault, Flanders, Brabant, and the empire of Germany ; 
and offered to all knights and squires that might come to 
this ceremony passports to last for fifteen days after it 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 83 

was over. The celebration of this order was fixed for St. 
George's Day next ensuing, to be held at Windsor, 1344; 
and the queen was to be present, accompanied by three 
hundred ladies and damsels, all of high birth, and richly 
dressed in similar robes. 


The King of England sets at Liberty Sir Herve de Leon. 

WHILE the King of England was employed in mak- 
ing preparations for the reception of the lords 
and ladies whom he expected at this feast, news was 
brought him of the death of the Lord of Clisson and the 
other knights. He was so much enraged at it, that he had 
determined to retaliate upon the body of Sir Herve de 
Leon, who was his prisoner; and would surely have exe- 
cuted it, if the Earl of Derby, his cousin, had not remon- 
strated, and showed in council such good reasons, as, for 
the sake of his own personal honor, induced him to refrain 
from this revenge. He added, " My lord, if that King 
Philip has, through rashness, had the villany to put to 
death such valiant knights as these were, do not suffer 
your courage to be tainted by it ; for in truth, if you will 
but consider a little, your prisoner has nothing to do with 
this outrage : have a goodness, therefore, to give him his 
liberty at a reasonable ransom." The king ordered the 
captive knight to be brought before him, and said, " Ha, 
Sir Herv6, Sir Herv6 ! my adversary Philip de Valois has 
shown his treachery in too cruel a manner, when he put to 
death so many knights. It has given mc much displeas- 
ure, and it appears as it were done in despite ot us. If I 

84 Froissart's Chronicles. 

were to take his conduct for my example, I ought to do the 
like to you, for you have done me more harm in Brittany 
than any other ; but I shall endure it, and let him act 
according to his own will, I will preserve my own honor 
unspotted, and shall allow you your liberty at a trifling 
ransom, out of my love for the Earl of Derby, who has 
requested it ; but upon condition that you perform what I 
am going to ask of you." The knight replied, "Dear sir, I 
will do, to the best of my power, whatever you shall com- 
mand." The king said, "I know, Sir Herve, that you are 
one of the richest knights in Brittany ; and, if I were to 
press you, you would pay me thirty or forty thousand 
crowns for your ransom. But you will go to King Philip de 
Valois, my adversary, and tell him from me, that, by putting 
so many knights to death in so dishonorable a manner, he 
has sore displeased me ; and I say and maintain, that he 
has by this means broken and infringed the truce which 
we had agreed to, and that from this moment I consider 
it as broken, and send him by you my defiance. In con- 
sideration of your carrying this message, I will let you off 
for ten thousand crowns, which you will pay, or send to 
Bruges, in five days after you shall have crossed the sea. 
You will also inform all such knights and squires as wish 
to attend my feast (for we shall be right glad to see them) 
not to desist on this account, for they shall have passports 
for their safe return, to last for fifteen days after it be 
over." — "Sir," answered the knight, "I will perform your 
message to the best of my abilities ; and God reward you 
and my Lord of Derby for your kindness to me ! " 

Sir Herve de Leon did not after this remain long in 
prison, but, having taken leave of the king, went to South- 
ampton, and embarked on board a vessel, with the inten- 
tion of landing at Harfleur. A violent storm, however, 

Froissart's Chronicles. 85 

which lasted fifteen days, prevented it. He lost his horses, 
as well as those of his servants, which were thrown over- 
board ; and he himself was so ill by it, that he never after 
enjoyed good health. At last the mariners, with much 
danger, landed at Crotoy, from whence Sir Herve and his 
suite went on foot to Abbeville, where they procured 
horses ; but Sir Herve was so ill, he could not bear the 
motion of the horse. He was therefore put in a litter, and 
came to Paris, to King Philip, to whom he delivered his 
message word for word. But he did not live long. He 
died in returning to his own country, in the city of Angers. 
God have mercy on his soul ! 


The King of England sends the Earl of Derby to make War 
IN Gascony. 

ST. GEORGE'S DAY drew near, when the grand feast 
was to be celebrated at the castle of Windsor. The 
king had made great preparations for it ; and there were 
earls, barons, ladies, and damsels most nobly entertained. 
The festivities and tilts lasted a fortnight. Many knights 
came to them from beyond sea, from Flanders, Hainault, 
and Brabant, but not one from France. During the hold- 
ing of these feasts the king received intelligence from 
different countries, particularly from Gascony. The Lord 
de I'Esparre, the Lord de Chaumont, the Lord de Muci- 
dent, were sent thence by the other barons and knights 
who at that time were dependent on the King of England ; 
such as the Lord d'Albret, the Lord de Pumiers, the Lord 
de Montferrant, the Lord of Duras, the Lord of Craton, 

86 Froissart's Chronicles. 

the Lord of Grailley, and many others ; and some were 
likewise sent by the cities of Bordeaux and Bayonne. 
These ambassadors were most courteously entertained and 
received by the king and his council ; to whom they ex- 
plained the weakness of the country of Gascony, and that 
his good friends in that country and the loyal city of Bor- 
deaux wanted aid : they therefore entreated that he would 
send thither such a captain and force of men at arms as 
he might think able to make head against the French, who 
kept the field in opposition to all that were sent to meet 
them. The king soon afterwards appointed his cousin 
the Earl of Derby leader of this expedition, and nominated 
those knights that he had fixed upon to be under him : 
first the Earl of Pembroke, the Earl of Oxford, the Lord 
Stafford, Sir Walter Manny, Sir Frank van Halle, Sir 
Henry Earn of Brabant, Sir Richard Fitzsimon, Sir Hugh 
Hastings, Sir Stephen Tombey, Sir Richard Haydon, Sir 
John Norwich, Sir Richard Radcliffe, Sir Robert Oxen- 
don, and several more. They were fully three hundred 
knights and squires, six hundred men at arms, and two 
thousand archers. The king advised the earl his cousin 
to take plenty of gold and silver with him, and to bestow 
it liberally among the knights and squires, in order to 
acquire their good opinion and affection. 

The king also, during the time of these festivals, sent 
Sir Thomas Dagworth into Brittany to re-enforce the 
Countess of Montfort, and assist her in preserving that 
country ; for, notwithstanding the truce, he doubted not 
but that King Philip would begin the war on account of 
the message he had sent to him by Sir Herve de L^on. 
He therefore despatched thither one hundred men at arms, 
and two hundred archers under the command of Sir 
Thomas. He likewise ordered the Earl of Salisbury into 

Froissart' s Chronicles. 87 

the county of D'ulnestre ; for the Scots had rebelled 
against him, had burnt much in Cornwall, and had ad- 
vanced as far as Bristol, and besieged the town of D'ul- 
nestre. However, the Earl of Salisbury marched thither, 
with three hundred men at arras and six hundred archers 
well appointed. Thus the king sent forth his people, and 
directed his treasurers to deliver out to the commanding 
officers a sufficiency of money for their own expenses, and 
to pay their fellow-soldiers ; and each set out according to 
the orders he had received. 

We will speak first of the Earl of Derby, as he had 
the greatest charge, which he conducted to Southampton, 
and, embarking on board the fleet stationed there for him, 
made sail for Bayonne. It was a handsome city, and had 
always held out for the English. He arrived there, with- 
out accident, on the sixth day of June, 1344, when he dis- 
embarked, and landed his stores. They were joyfully re- 
ceived by the inhabitants, and he remained there seven 
days to refresh himself and his horses. The Earl of 
Derby and his army left Bayonne the eighth day after his 
arrival, and set out for Bordeaux, where a grand procession 
came out to receive him. The earl was lodged in the Ab- 
bey of St. Andrew, and his people within the city. When 
the Count de Lisle was informed of the arrival of the 
English, he sent for the Count de Comminges, the Count 
de Pcrigord, the Count de Carmain, the Viscount de Ville- 
mur, the Count Duras, the Count de Valentinois, the 
Count de Mirandc, the Lord of Mirade, the Lord de la 
Barde, the Lord of Pincornet, the Viscount de Chatillon, 
the Lord of Chateauneuf, the Lord de Lescun, the Abbot 
of St. Savin, and for all the other lords who were attached 
to the King of France. As soon as they were all assem- 
bled, he demanded their counsel on the arrival of the Earl 

88 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

«of Derby. The lords in reply said they were sufficiently 
strong to defend the passage of the river Dordogne, at 
Bergerac, against the English. This answer mightily 
pleased the Count de Lisle, who was at that time like a 
king in Gascony, and had been so since the commence- 
ment of the wars between the two kings. He had taken 
the field, captured towns and castles, and waged war upon 
all who were of the English army. These lords sent im- 
mediately to assemble their dependants on all sides, and 
advanced to Bergerac, where they entered the suburbs, 
which are large, strong, and partly surrounded by the Dor- 
dogne. They had all their purveyances brought to them 
there in safety. 


The Earl of Derby conquers Bergerac. 

WHEN the Earl of Derby had remained at Bordeaux 
for about fifteen days, he was informed that the 
barons and knights of Gascony were in Bergerac : he 
therefore one morning marched that way with his army, 
and ordered his marshals, Sir Walter Manny and Sir 
Frank van Halle, to push forward. The English marched 
that morning no more than three leagues, to a castle called 
MontcrouUier, which belonged to them, and was situated 
a short league from Bergerac. At this castle of Mont- 
crouUier they tarried that day and night. The day follow- 
ing, their scouts were sent as far as the barriers of Ber- 
gerac ; and on their return they related to Sir Walter 
Manny that they had reconnoitred the position of the 
French, which did not appear to them an}' thing very for- 

Froissart's Chronicles. 

midable. This day the EngHsh dined early ; and during 
the repast Sir Walter Manny, addressing himself to the 
Earl of Derby, said, " My lord, if we were good knights, 
and well armed, we might this evening partake of the 
wines of these French lords who are garrisoned in Ber- 
gerac." The earl answered that it should not be his fault 
if they did not. When their companions heard this they 
said, " Let us hasten to arm ourselves ; for we will ride 
toward Bergerac." It was no sooner said than done : they 
were all armed and mounted in an instant. When the 
Earl of Derby perceived such willingness in his men, he 
was exceedingly joyful, and cried out, " In the name of 
God and of St. George, let us march to our enemies ! " 
They then rode on, with banners displayed, during the 
greatest heat of the day, until they came to the barriers 
of Bergerac ; which was not a place easily to be taken, for 
a part of the river Dordogne surrounded it. The French 
lords who were in the town, seeing the English coming to 
attack them, said they should be well received, and sallied 
forth in battle-array : they had with them a multitude of 
foot-soldiers, and country-people badly armed. The Eng- 
lish made their approaches in close order, so that they 
were plainly to be distinguished by the townsmen, and the 
archers began to shoot thickly. When the foot-soldiers 
felt the points of the arrows, and saw the banners and 
pennons glittering in the air, which they had not been 
accustomed to see, they fell back upon their men at arms. 
Tile archers continued to shoot with great quickness, 
doing much mischief to them. The lords of England then 
advanced, mounted on their excellent coursers, with lances 
in rests, and, dashing into the midst of their infantr}'-, 
drove them down at pleasure, and killed and wounded the 
French men at arms in abundance ; for they could not in 

90 Froissart's Chronicles. 

any way exert themselves, as these runaways ha.d blocked 
up the road. 

Thus were those of Bergerac driven back again to the 
suburbs ; but with so much loss that the first bridge and 
bars were taken by storm, and the English entered with 
them. Upon the pavement were many knights and 
squires slain and wounded, and many prisoners made of 
those who came forward to defend the passage. The 
Lord of Mirepoix was slain under the banner of Sir Wal- 
ter Manny, who was the first that entered the suburbs. 
When the Count de Lisle saw that the English had got 
possession of the suburbs, and were knocking down and 
killing his people without mercy, he and the other lords 
of Gascony made a handsome retreat towards the town, 
and passed the bridge with great difficulty. At this place 
the engagement was very severe, and lasted a considerable 
time : the noblemen of France and of England, named in 
the preceding chapters, combated most valiantly, hand to 
hand. Neither knight nor bachelor could there conceal 
himself. Sir Walter Manny had advanced so far among 
his enemies, that he was in great danger. The English 
made prisoners of the Viscount de Bousquetin, the Lords of 
Chatillon, of Chateauneuf, and of Lescun. The French 
retreated into the fort, let down the portcullis, and, getting 
upon the battlements, began to throw stones and other 
things to drive their enemies away. This assault and 
skirmish lasted until vespers, when the English retreated, 
quite weary, into the suburbs which they had won ; where 
they found such quantities of provision and wine as might 
on occasion have lasted them most plentifully for four 

When the morrow dawned, the Earl of Derby had his 
trumpets sounded, and his forces drawn out in battle- 

Froissart's Chronicles. 91 

array, to approach the town, and make a mighty assault, 
which lasted till noon. They had not much success ; for 
the}'' found that there were within it men who defended 
themselves valiantly. At noontide the English retreated, 
perceiving that they only lost their time. The lords then 
assembled in council, and determined to attack the town 
on the side next the river, for it was there fortified only 
by palisades. The Earl of Derby sent, therefore, to the 
fleet at Bordeaux for vessels, which he ordered to come to 
him up the Dordogne ; there were upward of sixty barks 
and other vessels lying at Bordeaux, that came to Bergerac. 
In the evening of the following day the English made 
their arrangements ; and at sunrise all those who were 
ordered to attack the town, as well as the fleet, were quite 
ready, under the command- of the Lord Stafford. There 
were many knights and squires who had requested to be 
on this expedition, in hopes of preferment, as well as a 
body of archers. They advanced in haste, and came to 
some large round piles placed before the palisades, which 
they flung down. The townsmen, seeing this, went to 
the Count de Lisle, the lords, knights, and squires who 
were present, and said to them, "Gentlemen, we pray 
you to take heed what you are about ; for we run a great 
risk of being ruined. If the town be taken, we shall lose 
all we have, as well as our lives. It will therefore be 
much better that we surrender it to the Earl of Derby, 
before we suffer more damage," The count replied, "We 
will go to that quarter where the danger is ; for we will 
not consent to surrender it so easily." The Gascon 
knights and squires came, therefore, to defend the pali- 
sades ; but the archers who were in the barks kept up so 
vigorous an attack with their arrows, that none dared to 
show themselves, unless they chose to run the risk of 

92 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

being either killed or wounded. In the town there were 
with the Gascons two or three hundred Genoese cross- 
bow-men, whose armor shielded them from the arrows. 
They kept the archers well employed all the day, and 
many on each side were wounded. At last the English 
who were in the vessels exerted themselves so much that 
they broke down a large piece of the palisade : those of 
Bergerac then retreated, and requested time to consider 
if they should not surrender the place. 

The remainder of that day and night was granted them, 
upon condition that they should not attempt to repair the 
breaches ; and every one retired to his quarters. The 
lords of Gascony held that night a long council ; and 
about midnight, having packed up all their baggage, they 
set out from Bergerac, and followed the road to La R6ole, 
which is not far distant, whose gates were opened to 
them ; and there they took up their quarters. 

The English, on the morrow morning, re-embarked on 
board their fleet, and came to the part where the palisades 
had been broken down. They found in that place great 
numbers of the townsmen, who entreated the knights that 
they would beseech the Earl of Derby to have mercy on 
them, and allow them their lives and fortunes, and thence- 
forward they would yield obedience to the King of Eng- 
land, The Earl of Pembroke and the Earl of Oxford 
replied that they would cheerfully comply with their 
request ; and went to the Earl of Derby, who was not 
present, and related to him what the inhabitants of Ber- 
gerac had desired of them. The Earl of Derby answered, 
" He who begs for mercy should have mercy shown him : 
tell them to open their gates, and let us enter, and we 
will assure them of safety from us and from our people." 
The two lords returned, and reported what the earl had 

FroissarVs CJiT-onicles, 93 

said. Upon which the townsmen went to the market- 
place, where every one, men and women, being assembled, 
they rang the bells, threw open the gates, went out in 
procession to meet the Earl of Derby, and with all hu- 
mility conducted him to the church, where they swore 
homage and fealty to him, acknowledging him as their 
lord, for the King of England, by virtue of a procura- 
tion which he had with him. 


The Count de Lisle, Lieutenant for the King of France, in 
Gascony, lays Siege to the Castle of Auberoche. 

WE will now return to the Count de Lisle, whom we 
left in La Reole. As soon as he was informed that 
the Earl of Derby had returned to Bordeaux, and had 
taken up his residence there, he did not think it probable 
he would undertake any more expeditions this season. 
He sent letters therefore to the Earls qf Perigord, of Car- 
main, of Comminges, of Bruniguel, and to all the barons 
of Gascony that were in the 'French interest, to desire 
that they would collect as many people as they could, and 
come with them properly armed, by an appointed time, to 
meet him at Auberoche, as he intended to besiege it. 
They all obeyed his summons ; for he was as a king in 
these parts of Gascony. The knights who were in Aube- 
roche were not aware of this until they found themselves 
so closely besieged on all sides that no one could go out 
of the garrison without being seen. The French brought 
from Toulouse four large machines, which cast stones into 
the fortress night and day ; an.d they made no other 

94 Froissart's Chronicles, 

assault : so that in six days' time they had demoHshed all 
the roofs of the towers, and none within the castle dared 
to venture out of the vaulted rooms on the ground-floor. 
It was the intention of the army to kill all within the castle, 
if they would not surrender themselves unconditionally. 

News was brought to the Earl of Derby, that Auberoche 
was besieged ; but he did not imagine his friends were so 
hard pushed. When Sir Frank van Halle, Sir Alain de 
Finefroide, and Sir John Lendal, who were thus besieged, 
saw how desperate their situation was, they asked their 
servants if there were not one among them who would, 
for a reward, undertake to deliver the letters they had 
written to the Earl of Derby at Bordeaux. One from 
among them stepped forward, and said he would be the 
man who would cheerfully undertake the commission, not 
through lust of gain, but from his desire to deliver them 
from the peril they were in. The following night the 
servrait took the letters, sealed with their seals, and sewed 
them up in his clothes. He was let down into the 
ditches : when he was at the bottom, he climbed up the 
opposite side, and took his road through the army, for he 
could not avoid passing through it. He was met by the 
first guard, but was not stopped, for he understood the 
Gascon language well, and named one of the lords of 
the army, as if belonging to him ; so he was suffered to 
pass on : but he was afterwards arrested, and detained 
under the tents of some other lords, who brought him to 
the main watch. He was interrogated, searched, and the 
letters found upon him, and guarded until morning, when 
the principals of the army assembled in the tent of the 
Count de Lisle, where the letters were read. They were 
rejoiced to find that the garrison were so much straitened 
that they could not hold out longer ; and, seizing the 

How the French flung a Servant over the Walls into Auberoche. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 95 

servant, they hung the letters round his neck, thrust him 
into one of the machines, and flung him into Auberoche. 
The valet fell quite dead amid the other valets of the 
castle, who were much terrified at it. 

About this time the Earl of Perigord, his uncle Sir 
Charles de Poitiers, the Earl of Carmain, and the Lord of 
Duras, mounting their horses, rode as near to the walls of 
the castle as they could, and, calling out to those within 
by way of derision, said, " Gentlemen, inquire of your 
messenger where he found the Earl of Derby, and whether 
he is prepared to assist you, since your man was so eager 
to quit your fortress, and has returned as quickly." Sir 
Frank van Halle replied, " By my faith, gentlemen, if we 
be so closely confined in this place, we will sally forth 
whenever it shall please God and the Earl of Derby. 1 
wish to heaven he were acquainted with our situation, 
for, if he were, the proudest of you all would be afraid of 
standing your ground ; and, if you will send any one to 
give him this information, one of us will surrender himself 
to you, to be ransomed as becomes a gentleman." The 
French answered, " Nay, nay, matters must not turn out 
so. The Earl of Derby, in proper time, shall be made 
acquainted with it ; but not until our engines have battered 
your walls level with the ground, and you shall have sur- 
rendered yourselves to save your lives." — "That, for cer- 
tain, will never happen," said Sir Frank van Halle; "for 
we will not surrender ourselves, should we all die upon 
the walls." The French lords then rode on, and returned 
to their army. The three English knights remained in 
Auberoche, quite confounded by the force of these en- 
gines, which flung such quantities of stones that in truth 
it seemed as if the thunder from heaven were battering 
the walls of the castle. 

96 Froissarfs Chronicles. 


The Earl of Derby makes the Count of Lisle and nine more 
Counts and Viscounts Prisoners before Auberoche. 

ALL these speeches, the treatment of the messenger, 
the contents of the letters, and the perilous situation 
of Auberoche, were known to the Earl of Derby by means 
of a spy he had in the French army. The earl therefore 
sent orders to the Earl of Pembroke in Bergerac to meet 
him at an appointed place and hour ; and also to the Lord 
Stafford and Sir Stephen Tombey, who were at Libourne. 
The Earl of Derby then, accompanied by Sir Walter 
Manny and the forces he had with him, took the road to 
Auberoche as secretly as possible ; for he had guides who 
were acquainted with all the by-roads. They came to 
Libourne, where they waited a whole day for the Earl of 
Pembroke ; but hearing no tidings of him, and being im- 
patient to succor their friends who were so distressed, the 
Earl of Derby, the Earl of Oxford, Sir Walter Manny, Sir 
Richard Hastings, Sir Stephen Tombey, the Lord Ferrers, 
and other knights, set out from Libourne : riding all night, 
they came on the morrow within two leagues of Auberoche. 
They entered a wood ; when, alighting from their horses, 
they tied them to the trees, and allowed them to pasture, 
in expectation of the arrival of the Earl of Pembroke. 
They waited all that morning, and until noon, in vain, not 
knowing what to do ; for they were but three hundred 
lances and six hundred archers, and the French were from 
ten to twelve thousand men. They thought it would be 
cowardice to suffer their friends to be lost, when they 

Froissarfs Chro7iicles. 97 

were so near them. At last Sir Walter Manny said, 
" Gentlemen, let us who are now here mount our horses, 
skirt this wood, and advance until we come to their camp : 
when we shall be close to it, we will stick spurs into our 
horses, and, with loud shouts, fall upon them. It will be 
about their hour for supper; and we shall see them so 
much discomfited, that they can never rally again." The 
knights present replied that they would all do as he had 
proposed. Each went to his horse, re-girthed him, and 
tightened his armor : they ordered their pages, servants, 
and baggage to remain where they were. 

They advanced in silence by the side of the wood until 
they came to the other end, where the French army was 
encamped in a wide valley, near a small river : they then 
displayed their banners and pennons, and, sticking spurs 
into their horses, dashed into the midst of the French and 
Gascon forces, who were quite confounded and unprepared 
for this attack, as they were busy about their suppers, 
many having set down to table. The English were well 
prepared to act; and crying, "Derby, Derby forever!" 
they cut down tents and pavilions, and slew and wounded 
all that came in their way. The French did not know 
where to turn, so much were they surprised ; and when 
they got into the plains, if there were any large body of 
them, the archers and crossbow-men made such good use 
of their weapons that they were slain or dispersed. The 
Count de Lisle was taken in his tent, badly wounded ; 
the Earl of Pcrigord in his pavilion, and also Sir Charles 
his uncle ; the Lord of Duras was killed, and so was Sir 
Aymery de Poitiers, but his brother the Earl of Valcn- 
tinois was made prisoner. Every one took to his heels 
as fast as he could; but the Earl of Comminges, the Earls 
of Carmain, Villemur, and Bruniguel, the Lords de la 

98 Froiss art's Chronicles. 

Barde and de la Taride, with others, who were quartered 
on the opposite side of the castle, displayed their banners, 
and, having drawn up their men, marched for the plain : 
the English, however, who had already defeated the largest 
body of the army, fell upon them most vigorously. In 
this engagement many gallant deeds of arms were per- 
formed, many captures made, and many rescues. As 
soon as Sir Frank van Halle and Sir John Lendal, who 
were in Auberoche, heard the noise, and perceived the 
banners and pennons of their friends, they hastened to 
arm themselves, and all those that were with them ; when, 
mounting their horses, they sallied out of the fortress, 
made for the plain, and dashed into the thickest of the 
combat, to the great encouragement of the English. 

Why should I make a long story of it ? All those who 
were of the Count de Lisle's party were discomfited, and 
almost all taken prisoners or slain. Scarcely any would 
have escaped, if night had not closed so soon. Nine earls 
and viscounts were made prisoners, and so many barons, 
knights, and squires, that there was not a man at arms 
among the English that had not for his share two or three. 
This battle before Auberoche was fought on the eve of St. 
Laurence's Day, in the year 1344. The English treated 
their prisoners like friends : they received many upon 
their promises to surrender themselves by a certain day at 
Bordeaux or Bergerac. The English retired into Aube- 
roche ; and the Earl of Derby entertained at supper the 
greater part of the prisoners, — earls, viscounts, barons, 
and knights. They gave thanks and praises to God for 
having enabled them to overcome upward of ten thousand 
men, when they themselves were not more than one thou- 
sand, including every one ; and to rescue the town of 
Auberoche, in which were their friends, that must have 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 99 

been captured in two clays' time. On the next morning, 
a little after sunrise, the Earl of Pembroke arrived with 
three hundred lances and four thousand archers. He had 
been informed of the event of the battle as they came 
along, and said to the Earl of Derby, " Certainly, cousin, 
you have neither been courteous, nor behaved honorably, 
to fight my enemies without waiting for me, seeing that 
you had sent for me ; and you might have been assured 
that nothing should have prevented my coming to you," 
The earl replied, " Fair cousin, we were very anxious for 
your arrival, and we waited for you from the morning until 
vespers. When we saw no appearance of your coming, we 
dared not wait longer ; for, had our enemies been informed 
of our arrival, they would have had the advantage over us. 
But now, thanks to God, we have conquered them, and we 
pray of you to help us in conducting them to Bordeaux." 
They remained that day and night in Auberoche : on the 
next day early they were armed and mounted, and set off, 
leaving there a Gascon knight in their interest, as gov- 
ernor, named the Lord Alexander of Chaumont. They 
took the road to Bordeaux, and carried with them the 
greater part of their prisoners. 


The Earl of Derby takes Different Towns in Gascony, in his 
Road toward La Ri;oLE. 

THE Earl of Derby and his army, upon their arrival 
at Bordeaux, were received with very great rejoi-- 
cings : the inhabitants thought they never could enough 
testify their joy to the earl and to Sir Walter Manny for 

lOO Froissart's Chronicles. 

their enterprise, in which the Count de Lisle and more 
than two hundred knights were made prisoners. The 
winter passed over without any action taking place in 
Gascony that is worthy of being recorded. Easter, which 
may be reckoned the beginning of the year 1345, was 
about the middle of May ; and the Earl of Derby, who 
had tarried all the winter in Bordeaux, collected a very 
large body of men at arms and archers, and declared he 
would make an expedition to La Reole, where the French 
had fixed their headquarters. He went the first day from 
Bordeaux to Bergerac, where he found the Earl of Pem- 
broke ready with his troops. These two noblemen, with 
their forces, remained for three days in Bergerac, and on 
the fourth departed. When they were got into the open 
country they halted their men, counted them, and found 
that they had about a thousand men at arms and two thou- 
sand archers. They pushed forward until they came to a 
castle called St. Basile, to which they laid siege. Those 
within, considering that the principal barons of Gascony 
were prisoners, and that they had no expectations of re- 
ceiving succors from any place, resolved to swear fealty to 
King Edward of England. The Earl of Derby continued 
his route, and took the road toward Aiguillon ; but before 
he arrived there he came to the castle of Rochemilon, 
which was well provided with soldiers and artillery ; never- 
theless the earl ordered it to be vigorously assaulted. As 
the English advanced to the attack, those within threw 
down upon them stones, bars of iron, and pots full of hot 
lime, by which many were slain and wounded who adven- 
tured themselves too rashly. 

When the Earl of Derby perceived that his men were 
laboring in vain, and getting themselves killed without 
any advantage, he sounded a retreat. On the morrow he 

Froissart 's Chron ides. i o i 

ordered the peasants to bring great quantities of brush- 
wood, fagots, straw, and turf, and to throw them all into 
the ditches of the castle, and plenty of earth with them. 
When a part of the ditch was so filled that one might get 
to the foot of the walls, he assembled three hundred arch- 
ers, well armed and in battle-array, and sent before them 
two hundred countrymen, covered with shields, having 
large pickaxes and hooks : while these first were employed 
in picking the walls, the archers made such good use of 
their bows that no one dared to show himself on the battle- 
ments. This lasted the greatest part of the day, when 
the pickaxe-men made so large a breach in the walls, that 
ten men might enter abreast. The inhabitants of the 
town and castle were quite confounded : some fled toward 
the church, and others by a back way out of the town. 
The fortress was immediately taken and pillaged, and all 
the garrison were put to death, excepting such as had 
taken refuge in the church, whom the Earl of Derby par- 
doned, for they had submitted to his mercy. The earl 
placed in the castle a fresh garrison, under the command 
of two English captains, Richard Willes and Robert Scot ; 
and then he came before Monsegur, where he ordered his 
men to prepare huts for themselves and horses : he con- 
tinued before it fifteen days. 

The governor of the town was Sir Hugh de Bastefol, 
and there never passed a day without some assault being 
made upon it. They sent for large machines from Bor- 
deaux and Bergerac ; and the stones which they cast into 
the town destroyed roofs, tiles, and the principal buildings. 
The Earl of Derby sent every day to let them know, that, 
if they suffered the town to be stormed, every one would 
be put to the sword ; but, if they would render obedience 
to the King of England, he would pardon them, and treat 

I02 Froissart's Chronicles. 

them like friends. The townsmen would cheerfully have 
surrendered, and they went to the governor to consult 
him, and to sound his intentions ; who answered them by 
ordering them to the battlements, for that he had provis- 
ion of every sort in sufficiency to hold out for half a year 
if it were necessary. They left him in apparent good 
humor; but about the time of vespers they seized him, 
and closely confined him, assuring him, at the same time, 
he should never be set at liberty if he did not assist them 
to make some terms with the Earl of Derby. When he 
had sworn that he would do every thing in his power, they 
let him go : he went directly to the barriers of the town, 
and made signs that he wished to speak with the Earl of 
Derby. Sir Walter Manny being present came to the 
governor, who said to him, " Sir Walter Manny, you ought 
not to be surprised if we shut our gates against you, for 
we have sworn fealty to the King of France ; but not per- 
ceiving any one coming from him to stop your career, and 
believing that you will still proceed further, — for these 
reasons, in behalf of myself and the inhabitants of this 
town, we wish you would allow us these terms : namely, 
that no hostilities be carried on against us for the space 
of one month ; and if in that time the King of France or 
the Duke of Normandy come into this country in such 
force as to give you battle, we then shall hold ourselves 
free from our engagement ; but, if neither of them come, 
we will then enter under the obedience of the King of 

Sir Walter Manny went to relate this proposal to the 
Earl of Derby, who acceded to it upon condition that 
there should not in the mean time be any repairs made to 
the fortifications of the town, and that, if any of the Eng- 
lish army should want provisions, they might be at liberty 

Froissart's Chronicles. 103 

to purchase them. Upon this there were sent twelve of 
the principal citizens as hostages, who were ordered to 
Bordeaux. The English refreshed themselves with pro- 
visions from the town, but none were suffered to enter it. 
They then continued their march, burning and destroying 
all the country as far as Aiguillon, the governor of which 
place came out to meet the earl, and surrendered the town 
and castle to him, on condition of their lives and fortunes 
being spared ; to the great astonishment of all the country, 
for it was one of the strongest castles in the world, and 
almost impregnable. When the squire who had thus sur- 
rendered Aiguillon came to Toulouse, which is seventeen 
leagues distant, the townsmen arrested him on suspicion 
of treason, and hung him. This castle is situated on the 
point between two navigable rivers. The earl ordered it 
to be re-victualled, and the fortifications repaired, in order 
to its being fit to receive him on his return, and that it 
might serve for a secure guard to his other possessions. 
He gave the command of it to Sir John de Gombry. He 
then came to a castle called Segart, which he took by 
storm, and put all the foreign soldiers he found in it to 
death : from thence he came to the town of La R^ole. 


The Earl of Derby lays Siege to La Reole, which surrenders 


WHEN the Earl of Derby was arrived at La R^ole, 
he encompassed it closely all round, erecting tow- 
ers in the plains, and near to every road, that no provision 
of any kind could enter it. He caused it to be assaulted 

I04 Froissart's Chronicles. 

almost every day. This siege took up much of the sum- 
mer ; and, when the time had expired which those of 
Monsegur had fixed for surrendering themselves, the Earl 
of Derby sent thither, and the inhabitants of the town 
became liegemen to the earl, who in all these cases was 
the representative of the King of England. Even Sir 
Hugh de Bastefol served under the earl with the men of 
Monsegur, for a certain salary, which he received from 
the said earl, for himself and his fellow-soldiers. The 
English who were besieging La Reole had lain before it 
more than nine weeks, and had constructed two large 
towers of great beams of wood, three stories high : each 
tower was placed on wheels, and covered over with pre- 
pared leather, to shelter those within from fire and from 
the arrows. In each story were one hundred archers. 
These two towers, by dint of men's force, were pushed 
close to the walls of the town ; for during the time they 
were building they had filled up the ditches, so that these 
towers could easily pass over them. Those that were in 
them began immediately to shoot so well and quick, that 
none dared to appear upon the battlements unless he were 
well armed, or had a shield. Between these two towers 
were posted two hundred men with pickaxes and bars, to 
make a breach in the walls ; which they did, and cast 
away the stones. The inhabitants, seeing this, came 
upon the walls, and inquired for some of the chiefs of 
the army to speak to them. The Earl of Derby, being 
informed of it, sent thither Sir Walter Manny and the 
Lord Stafford, v/ho found the townsmen willing to sur- 
render the town, on condition of their lives and fortunes 
being spared. 

When the governor. Sir Agos de Bans, a Provencal, 
found that the inhabitants wanted to surrender the town. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 105 

he retired into the castle of La Reole with his fellow-sol- 
diers ; and, while this treaty was going on, he had conveyed 
into it great quantities of wine and other provision. He 
then ordered the gates to be fastened, and said he would 
never surrender in so shameful a manner. The two 
knights returned to the Earl of Derby, and related to him 
that the townsmen were desirous of surrendering upon the 
terms above named ; the earl sent them back, to know 
what the governor's intentions were respecting the castle. 
They returned with the answer, that he had shut himself 
up in the castle, and would not yield it. After a little 
consideration the earl said, " Well, well, let us have com- 
passion on the inhabitants : by means of the town, we 
shall soon gain the castle." The knights again went to 
the townsmen, and received their submissions. They all 
came out to the plain, and, presenting the keys of the 
town to the earl, said, " Dear sir, from this day forward, 
we acknowledge ourselves as your loyal subjects, and 
place ourselves, in every respect, under the obedience of 
the King of England." They swore by their heads, that 
they would not in any manner assist or succor those in 
the castle, but, on the contrary, distress them all in their 
power. The earl forbade, under pain of death, that any 
"hurt should be done toward the inhabitants of La Reole. 
He then entered it with his army, and, surrounding the 
castle, erected all his machines against it ; but they did 
little mischief, for the castle was very high and built of a 
hard stone. It was erected a long time since by the Sara- 
cens, who laid the foundations so strong, and with such 
curious workmanship, that the buildings of our time can- 
not be compared to it. When the earl found that his 
machines had no effect, he commanded them to desist; 
and, as he was not without miners in his army, he 

io6 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

ordered them to undermine the ditches of the castle 
so that they might pass beneaih. This was not soon 
done, however. 


Sir Walter Manny finds in La R^ole the Sepulchre of his 

WHILE they were lying before this castle, and miners 
only could be employed. Sir Walter Manny was 
reminded of his father, who formerly had been murdered 
in his journey from St. James of Compostella ; he had 
heard in his infancy that he had been buried in La Reole 
or that neighborhood. He therefore made inquiries in the 
town, if there were any one who could inform him of the 
truth of this matter ; and offered a hundred crowns to him 
who should conduct him to the spot. This brought for- 
ward an old man, who said to Sir Walter Manny, " Cer- 
tainly, sir : I think I can lead you to the place where your 
father was buried, or very near to it." Sir Walter replied, 
" If you prove your words true I will stick to my bargain, 
and even go beyond it." 

To explain this matter more clearly, you must know 
that there was formerly a bishop of Cambray, a Gascon, 
and of the families of Buc and Mirefoix; and, during 
the time of his holding that see, a magnificent tourna- 
ment was held at Cambray, where there were upwards 
of five hundred knights. A knight from Gascony tilted 
with the Lord of Manny, the father of Sir Walter: the 
Gascon knight was so roughly handled and wounded 
that he never enjoyed his health afterwards, but died. 
His death was laid to the door of the Lord of Manny, 

Froissart's Chronicles. 107 

and the bishop and his kindred vowed revenge for it. 
Two or three years after, some good-hearted people 
endeavored to reconcile them ; and peace was agreed 
to, on condition that the Lord of Manny should make 
a pilgrimage to St. James of Compostella by way of 

During the time of this journey the Earl Charles of 
Valois, brother to King Philip the Fair, was besieging La 
Reole, and had been there some time ; for it appertained, 
as well as many other cities and towns, to the King of 
England, the father of him who besieged Tournay : so that 
the Lord of Manny, on his return, went to visit the Earl 
Charles of Valois, — as William Earl of Hainault had mar- 
ried the Lord Charles's daughter, — and showed him his 
letters, for in these parts he was as king of France. It 
chanced one night, as he was returning to his lodgings, 
that he was watched and waylaid by the kindred of him 
on whose account he had performed this pilgrimage, and 
was murdered at a small distance from the Earl Charles's 
hotel. No one knew positively who had done this deed, 
but the relations of the Gascon knight above mentioned 
were very strongly suspected : however, they were so 
powerful that it was passed over and excused, for none 
took the part of the Lord of Manny. The Earl of Valois 
had him buried immediately in a small chapel which at 
that time was without the walls of La Reole ; and, when 
the Earl of Valois had conquered the town, this chapel 
was enclosed in it. The old man remembered all these 
circumstances perfectly well, for he had been present 
when the Lord of Manny was interred. When Sir Walter 
came to the spot where his father had been buried, with 
his aged conductor, he found there a small tomb of marble 
which his servants had erected over him ; and the old man 

io8 Froissart's Chronicles. 

said, "You may be perfectly assured that your father 
was buried and Hes under this tomb." Sir Walter then 
caused the inscription, which was in Latin, to be read to 
him by a clerk, and found that the old man had told him 
the truth. Two days afterwards he had the tomb opened, 
took out the bones of his father, and, placing them in a 
coffin, sent them to Valenciennes in the county of Hai- 
nault, where they were again buried in the church of the 
Freres Mineurs, near the choir. He ordered masses to 
be said, and to be continued yearly. 


The Earl of Derby conquers the Castle of La Reole. 

THE Earl of Derby was more than eleven weeks be- 
sieging the castle of La Reole : the miners, however, 
made such advances, that they had got under one of the 
courts of the castle ; but they could not undermine the 
donjon, for it was built on too hard a rock. The Lord 
Agos de Bans, the governor, then told his companions 
they were undermined, and in great danger; who were 
much alarmed at it, and said, " Sir, you wilT be in equal 
peril with ourselves, if you cannot find some method of 
avoiding it. You are our captain, and we ought to obey 
you. In truth, we have defended ourselves honorably, and 
no one can blame us if how we enter into a treaty. Will 
you therefore talk with the Earl of Derby, and know if 
he will accept of our surrender, sparing our lives and for- 
tunes, seeing that we cannot at present act otherwise } " 
Sir Agos went down 'from the great tower, and, putting 
his head out of a window, made si^ns that he wished to 

Froissart's Chronicles. 109 

speak with some one from the army. A few of the Eng- 
lish came near him, and asked what he wanted : he replied 
that he would speak with the Earl of Derby or Sir Walter 
Manny. When this was told the earl, he said to Sir Wal- 
ter Manny and to Lord Stafford, " Let us go to the fort- 
ress, and see what the governor has to say to us :" they 
rode therefore up to it. When Sir Agos perceived them, 
he saluted each very respectfully, and said, "Gentlemen, 
you know for fact that the King of France has sent me to 
this town and castle, to defend them to the best of my 
abilities. You know in what manner I have acquitted 
myself, and also that I should wish to continue it on ; but 
one cannot always remain in the place that pleases one 
best. I should therefore like to depart from hence, with 
my companions, if it be agreeable to you ; and, that we 
may have your permission, if you will spare our lives and 
fortunes, we will surrender this castle up to you." The 
earl replied, " Sir Agos, Sir Agos, you will not get off so. 
We know that you are very much distressed, and that we 
can take you whenever we please, for your castle now only 
stands upon props. You must surrender yourselves up 
unconditionally, and so shall you be received." Sir Ago's, 
answering, said, " Certainly, sir, if we should do so, I hold 
you of such honor and gallantry, that you will show us 
every mark of favor, as you would wish the King of France 
should do toward any of your knights ; and, please God, 
you will never stain your honor and nobility for a few poor 
soldiers that are within here, who have gained their money 
with great pain and trouble, and whom I brought with me 
from Provence, Savoy, and Dauphine : for know, that if 
the lowest of our men be not treated with mercy, as well 
as the highest, we will sell our lives in such a manner as 
none besieged ever did before. I therefore entreat of you 

I lo Froissart's Chronicles. 

to listen to me, and treat us like brother soldiers, that we 
may feel ourselves obliged to you." 

The three knights withdrew to a little distance, and 
conversed a long time together ; when, considering the 
gallantry of Sir Agos, that he was a foreigner, and, besides, 
that they could not undermine the donjon, they returned, 
and said to him, " Sir Agos, we shall be happy always to 
treat every stranger knight as a brother at arms ; and if, 
fair sir, you and yours wish to leave the castle,' you must 
carry nothing with you but your arms and horses." — 
" Let it be so, then," replied Sir Agos. Upon this he re- 
turned to his companions, and related what he had done : 
they immediately armed themselves, and caparisoned their 
horses, of which they had only six remaining. Some pur- 
chased horses of the English, who made them pay dearly 
for them. Thus Sir Agos de Bans gave up the castle of 
La Reole, of which the English took possession ; and he 
went to the city of Toulouse. 


The Earl of Derby takes Castel Moron, and afterwards Ville- 


WHEN the Earl of Derby had gained possession of 
the town and castle of La Reole, where he had 
spent a long time, he pushed forward, but left there an 
English knight to see after the repairs, that it might be 
put in a similar situation as when he had come before it. 
The earl advanced toward Monpouillant, which he instant- 
ly ordered to be attacked the moment he arrived. There 
were in the castle none but the peasantry of the country. 

Froissarf s Chronicles. 1 1 1 

who had retired thither with their cattle, depending on the 
strength of the place. They defended themselves as long 
as they were able ; but at last it was taken by escalade, 
though it cost the earl dear in the loss of many archers 
and a young English gentleman called Sir Richard Pen- 
nort, who bore the banner of the Lord Stafford. The earl 
gave the command of the castle and its dependencies to a 
squire of his own, called Thomas Lancaster, and left him 
with twenty archers. The earl then came to Castel Moron, 
which he attacked ; but, finding he could not make any 
impression, he took up his quarters before it for that night. 
On the morrow morning a knight from Gascony came to 
him, called Sir Alexander de Chaumont, and said, " Sir, 
pretend to decamp with your army, leaving only a small 
detachment here before the town ; and, from the knowl- 
edge I have of its inhabitants, I am sure they will sally 
forth to attack them. Your men will defend themselves 
as they retreat, and by placing an ambuscade under these 
olive-trees, which as soon as they have passed, one part of 
your army may fall upon their rear, and the other make 
for the town." The earl followed this advice, and ordered 
the Earl of Oxford to remain behind with only a hundred 
men, giving him directions what he wished to have done. 
He then ordered all the baggage to be packed up, and to 
march off, as if he were going to another place. After 
having posted a strong ambuscade in the valley among the 
olives and vines, he rode on. 

When the townsmen of Castel Moron perceived that 
the earl and the greater part of his army were marching 
off, they said among themselves, " Let us hasten to arm, 
and sally forth to combat this handful of English that stay 
behind : we shall soon discomfit them, and have them at 
our mercy, which will bring us great honor and profit." 

Froissart's Chronicles. 

They all agreed to this proposal ; and, hastening to arm 
themselves, they sallied out, to the number of about four 
hundred. As soon as the Earl of Oxford and his party 
saw them coming, they began to retreat, and the French 
to follow them with great eagerness : they pursued them 
until they had passed the ambush, when those posted there 
advanced upon them, calling out, " Manny forever ! " for 
Sir Walter commanded this ambuscade. One part of his 
detachment fell upon those that had come from the town ; 
and the other made for Castel Moron, where they came 
about midnight, and found the gates wide open, for the 
guards thought it was their own people returning. The 
first-comers therefore seized the bridge, and were soon 
masters of the town ; for the inhabitants that had sallied 
out were surrounded on all sides, and either slain or made 
prisoners. Those that had remained in the town surren- 
dered themselves to the Earl of Derby, who received them 
kindly, and, out of his nobleness of disposition, respited 
the town from being pillaged and burnt. He made a 
present of it, and all its dependencies, to Sir Alexander 
de Chaumont, through whose advice he had gained it. 
Sir Alexander made his brother, who was a squire, called 
Antony de Chaumont, governor ; and the Earl of Derby 
left with him his archers, and forty infantry armed with 
bucklers, in order to enable him the better to guard the 
town. The earl then came before Villefranche, which he 
took by storm, as well as the castle. He made an Eng- 
lish knight, Sir Thomas Cook, governor of it. Thus did 
the Earl of Derby march through every part of the coun- 
try, without any one venturing out to prevent him. He 
conquered many different towns and castles, and his army 
gained so much riches, that it was marvellous to think on. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 113 


Jacob von Artaveld is murdered at Ghent. 

JACOB VON ARTAVELD, the citizen of Ghent that 
was so much attached to the King of England, still 
maintained the same despotic power over all Flanders. 
He had promised the King of England that he would give 
him the inheritance of Flanders, invest his son the Prince 
of Wales with it, and make it a duchy instead of an earl- 
dom. Upon which account the king was at this period — 
about St. John the Baptist's Day, 1345 — come to Sluys, 
with a numerous attendance of barons and knights. He 
had brought the Prince of Wales with him, in order that 
Jacob von Artaveld's promises might be realized. The 
king remained on board his fleet in the harbor of Sluys, 
where he kept his court. His friends in Flanders came 
thither to see and visit him ; and there were many con- 
ferences between the king and Jacob von Artaveld on one 
side, and the councils from the different capital towns on 
the other, relative to the agreement before mentioned ; as 
to which, those from the country did not unite in senti- 
ment with the king or with Von Artaveld : they declared 
they never would consent to such a thing. 

Jacob von Artaveld remained some little time longer 
with the King of England, in order to be made acquainted 
with all his affairs : he, in return, assured him that he 
would bring his countrymen over to his opinion. But 
he deceived himself, and did wrong in staying behind 
and not being at Ghent at the time when the citizens 
who had been deputed by the corporations of the town 

114 Froissart's Chronicles. 

arrived there; for as soon as they were returned, taking 
advantage of the absence of Von Artaveld, they col- 
lected a large meeting of high and low in the market- 
place, and there explained to them the subject of the 
late conferences at Sluys, and what the King of Eng- 
land had required of them through the advice of Jacoo 
von Artaveld. 

The whole assembly began to murmur against him. 
They said that if it pleased God they never would be 
pointed out, or found so disloyal as to disinherit their 
natural lord in favor of a stranger. They then left the 
market-place much discontented and angry with Artaveld. 
Now see how unfortunately it fell out ; for if he had gone 
to Ghent, instead of Bruges and Ypres, and had urged 
upon them the cause of the King of England, they would 
all have consented to his wishes, as those of the two 
above-mentioned towns had done. But he trusted so 
much to his prosperity and greatness, that he thought he 
could recover every thing back in a little time. 

When, on his return, he came to Ghent about midday, 
the townspeople, who were informed of the hour he was 
expected, had assembled in the street that he was to pass 
through. As soon as they saw him they began to murmur, 
and put their heads close together, saying, " Here comes 
one who is too much the master, and wants to order in 
Flanders according to his will and pleasure ; which must 
not be longer borne." With this they had also spread a 
rumor through the town, that Jacob von Artaveld had 
collected all the revenues of Flanders for nine years and 
more ; that he had kept them securely to maintain his 
own state, and had, during the time above mentioned, re- 
ceived all fines and forfeitures : of this great treasure he 
had sent part into England. This information inflamed 

The Death of Jacob van Arteveld. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 115 

those of Ghent with rage ; and as he was riding up the 
streets he perceived that there was something in agitation 
against him, for those who were wont to salute him very 
respectfully now turned their backs, and went into their 
houses. He began therefore to suspect all was not as 
usual ; and as soon as he had dismounted, and entered 
his hotel, he ordered the doors and windows to be shut 
and fastened. 

Scarcely had his servants done this, when the street 
which he inhabited was filled from one end to the other 
with all sorts of people, but especially with the lowest of 
mechanics. His mansion was surrounded on every side, 
attacked, and broken into by force. Those within did all 
they could to defend it, and killed and wounded many ; 
but at last they could not hold out against such vigorous 
attacks, for three parts of the town were there. When 
Jacob von Artaveld saw what efforts were making, and 
how hardly he was pushed, he came to a window, and with 
his head uncovered began to use humble and fine lan- 
guage, saying, " My good people, what aileth you .-' Why 
are you so enraged against me "i By what means can I 
have incurred your displeasure .-' Tell me : I will conform 
myself entirely to your wills." Those who heard him 
made answer as with one voice, "We want to have an 
account of the great treasures you have made away with, 
without any title or reason." Artaveld replied in a soft 
tone, " Gentlemen, be assured that I have never taken 
any thing from the treasures of Flanders ; and if you will 
return quietly to your homes, and come here to-morrow 
morning, I will be prepared to give so good an account of 
them that you must be reasonably satisfied," But they 
cried out, " No, no ! we must have it directly, you shall 
not thus escape from us ; for we know that you have 

ii6 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

emptied the treasury, and sent it into England without 
our knowledge : you therefore shall suffer death." When 
he heard this he clasped his hands together, began to 
weep bitterly, and said, " Gentlemen, such as I am, you 
yourselves have made me. You formerly swore you would 
protect me against all the world ; and now without any 
reason you want to murder me. You are certainly mas- 
ters, to do it if you please ; for I am but one man against 
you all. Think better of it, for the love of God : recollect 
former times, and consider how many favors and kind- 
nesses I have conferred upon you. You wish to give me 
a sorry recompense for all the generosities you have had 
at my hands. You are not ignorant, that, when commerce 
was dead in this country, it was I who restored it. I after- 
wards governed you in so peaceable a manner, that under 
my administration you had all things according to your 
wishes." They began to bawl out, "Come down, and do 
not preach to us from such a height ; for we will have an 
account and statement of the great treasures of Flanders, 
which you have governed too long without rendering any 
account ; and it is not proper for an officer to receive the 
rents of a lord, or of a country, without accounting for 
them." When Jacob von Artaveld saw that he could not 
appease or calm them, he shut the window, and intended 
getting out of his house the back way, to take shelter in 
a church adjoining; but his hotel was already broken into 
on that side, and upwards of four hundred were there 
calling out to him. At last he was seized by them, and 
slain without mercy : his death-stroke was given him by a 
saddler called Thomas Denys. 

Froissart^s Chronicles. 117 


Sir John of Hainault quits the Alliance of England for that 
OF France. 

SOON after this, King Philip of France endeavored by 
a treaty, through the means of the Earl of Blois, to 
persuade Sir John of Hainault to take part with France. 
In order to make him alter his opinion of the English, 
they made him believe that they would not pay him his 
subsidy for a considerable time. This put Sir John so 
much out of humor, that he renounced all treaties and 
agreements which he had entered into with England. 
The King of France was no sooner informed of it, than 
he sent to him persons sufficiently authorized, who re- 
tained him, as well as his counsel for France, at a certain 
salary ; and he recompensed him in his kingdom with a 
greater revenue than he derived from England. 


The Duke of Normandy marches with a great Army into Gas- 

THE King of France, having received information of 
the expeditions and conquests that the Earl of 
Derby had made in Gascony, issued a special summons 
for all nobles and others that were capable of bearing 
arms to assemble in the cities of Orleans and Bourges, 
and in that neighborhood, by a certain day. 

li8 Froissart's Chronicles. 

At last these lords were all assembled, with their men, 
in and near Toulouse, for they were too great in numbers 
to be lodged in the city : they amounted, in the whole, to 
upward of a hundred thousand persons. This was the 
year of grace 1345. Soon after the feast of Christmas, 
the Duke of Normandy, who was the commander-in-chief 
of this army, set out to join it, and ordered his marshals, 
the Lord of Montmorency and the Lord of St. Venant, to 
advance with the van. They came first to the castle of 
Miraumont, which the English had conquered in the 
summer, and most vigorously assaulted it. There were 
within about a hundred Englishmen for its defence, under 
the command of John Briscoe. 

With the French were the Lord Lewis of Spain, and 
a number of Genoese crossbow-men, that spared none. 
Those within could not defend themselves against so 
superior a force, but were taken, and the greater part of 
them slain, even their captain. The marshals, having 
recruited their battalion with fresh men, advanced farther, 
and came before Villefranche, in the county of Agenois. 
The army halted there, and surrounded it on all sides. 
Sir Thomas Cook, the governor, was not there, but at 
Bordeaux, whither the Earl of Derby had sent for him. 
However, those within made a vigorous defence ; but in 
the end they were taken by storm, and the greater part of 
the garrison put to the sword. The army then marched 
toward the city of Angouleme, leaving the town and castle 
of Villefranche standing undemolished, and without any 
guard. The city of Angouleme was closely besieged : the 
governor of it for the King of England was Sir John 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 119 


Sir John Norwich escapes from Angoul£me, when that Town 
surrenders to the french. 

THE lords of France remained for a very considerable 
time before Angouleme. The French overran all 
the country which had been conquered by the English : 
they created much trouble, and, whenever they found a 
fit opportunity, brought to their camp many prisoners 
and much pillage. The two brothers of Bourbon acquired 
great praise from all, as they were the foremost in every 
excursion. When Sir John Norwich, the governor of 
Angouleme, found that the Duke of Normandy would not 
break up the siege until he had gained the city, that his 
provisions were growing short, and that the Earl of Derby 
showed no signs of coming to his relief ; having also per- 
ceived that the inhabitants were much inclined to the 
French, and would have turned to them before if they 
had dared, — he began to be suspicious of treason, and 
bethought how he could best save himself and his com- 
panions. On the eve of the Purification, he came on the 
battlements of the walls of the city alone, without having 
mentioned to any one his intentions, and made signs with 
his cap that he wanted to speak with some one from the 
army. Those who had noticed the signal came to know 
what he wanted : he said he wished " to speak with my 
lord the Duke of Normandy, or with one of his marshals." 
They went to inform the duke of this, who came there, 
attended by some of his knights. As soon as Sir John 
saw the duke, he puHcd off his cap, and saluted liira. The 

I20 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

duke returned the salute, and said, " Sir John, how fares 
it with you? Are you inclined to surrender yourself?" 
— "I have no intentions to do that," replied Sir John ; 
" but I could wish to entreat of you, in reverence to the 
feast of Our Lady, which is to-morrow, that you would 
grant us a truce for that day only, that neither of us may 
hurt the other, but remain in peace." The duke said 
he was willing to consent to it. 

Early the next morning, which was Candlemas Day, 
Sir John and his companions armed themselves, and 
packed up all they had. They then ordered one of the 
gates to be opened, and issued forth ; which being per- 
ceived by the army, some part of it began to put itself in 
motion. Sir John, upon this, rode up to them, and said, 
"Gentlemen, gentlemen, beware that you do no harm to 
us ; for we have had a truce agreed on for this whole day, 
as you must know, by the Duke of Normandy ; and we 
shall not touch you. If you have not been informed of it, 
go and inquire ; for we can, upon the faith of this truce, 
ride and go wherever we please." This information was 
brought to the duke, and he was asked what was to be 
done; who replied, "Let them go, in God's name, what- 
ever way they choose ; for we cannot force them to stay. 
I will keep the promise I made them." Thus Sir John 
Norwich passed through the whole French army unhurt, 
and took the road to Aiguillon. When those who were in 
garrison there heard in what manner he had escaped, and 
saved his men, they said he had acted very cunningly.* 

* But it is to be hoped that every young reader of Froissart will heartily 
despise such cunning. This act of Sir John Norwich was mean and small 
beyond all decent words ; for he took the basest advantage of the Duke of 
Normandy's honorable confidence in his fidelity to the sacred obligations of 
a truce. — Ed. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 121 

The inhabitants of Angouleme held a council on Candle- 
mas Day, and determined to surrender themselves to the 
duke. They sent persons properly authorized to treat, 
who managed so well, that the duke showed them mercy, 
and pardoned them. He entered the city and castle, 
where he received their homage, and appointed Sir An- 
thony de Villiers governor, with a hundred soldiers to 
defend it. The duke afterwards decamped, and came be- 
fore the castle of Damazan, which he laid siege to for 
fourteen days. There were continued assaults ; but at 
last it was taken, and all within it, Gascons and English, 
put to the sword. The duke gave this castle and its de- 
pendencies to a squire from Beausse, named the Borgne 
de Nully. He then came before Tonniens, which is situ- 
ated on the Garonne, and which he found well provided 
with Gascons and English. There were many attacks 
and skirmishes, and he remained some time before it. 
However, at last they surrendered, upon condition of pre- 
serving their lives and fortunes, and to be conducted in 
safety to Bordeaux. When these foreigners had left it, 
the town entered under obedience to the duke, who staid 
here with his whole army, and on the banks of the Ga- 
ronne, until after Easter, when he advanced toward Port 
St. Marie upon the same river. There were about two 
hundred English to defend the town and this passage, 
who had strongly fortified it ; but they, and all within, 
were taken by assault. The French, after they had re- 
paired and re-enforced it with men at arras, set out and 
took the road toward Aiguillon. 

122 Froissart's Chronicles. 


The Duke of Normandy lays Siege to Aiguillon with a hundred 

THE noblemen of France, under the command of 
the Duke of Normandy, pushed on until they came 
before the castle of Aiguillon, when they encamped, and 
divided their forces in the extensive and handsome mead- 
ows on the banks of the river Garonne, which is naviga- 
ble for great vessels. Each lord was posted with his own 
people, and every company by itself, according to the 
orders of the marshals of the army. This siege continued 
until the beginning of October ; and there were upward 
of one hundred thousand men in arms, including cavalry 
and infantry. Those within were obliged to defend them- 
selves against this army two or three times every day, and 
most commonly from noon until eve without ceasing ; for 
there were continually pouring upon them fresh forces, 
Genoese or others, who gave them no repose. The chiefs 
of the French army found they could never attack with 
advantage the fortress, unless they passed the river, which 
was wide and deep. The duke therefore ordered a bridge 
to be constructed, that they might cross it. Three hun- 
dred workmen were employed at this bridge, who worked 
day and night. As soon as the knights who were in 
Aiguillon perceived that this bridge was nearly finished, 
and that one-half of it was completed, they prepared three 
vessels, in which they embarked, and, driving away the 
workmen and guards, instantly destroyed what had taken 
so much time to make. The lords of France, seeing this, 

Froissart's Chronicles. 123 

got ready other vessels to attack them, in which they 
placed a number of men at arms, Genoese crossbow-men, 
and infantry, and ordered the workmen to continue their 
works under the support of these guards. When these 
workmen were thus employed. Sir Walter Manny and 
some of his companions embarked about noon, and, dash- 
ing upon them, made them quit their work, and run off. 
He soon destroyed all that they had done. This kind of 
skirmish was continued daily ; but at last the French sent 
such large detachments to guard the workmen, that the 
bridge was completed in a good and strong manner. The 
army then passed over it in order of battle, and attacked 
the castle for the space of one whole day, but did no 
harm ; and in the evening they retreated to their camp, 
where they were plentifully supplied with every thing. 

Those within the castle repaired what damage had been 
done, for they had plenty of workmen. On the morrow 
the French resolved to divide their army into four divis- 
ions, the first of which should make an attack on this 
fortress from the dawn until about nine o'clock ; the sec- 
ond, from that time until noon ; the third, from noon till 
four o'clock ; and the fourth division, from that time till 
night. This mode of attack was continued for six succes- 
sive days. However, those within the castle were never 
so much harassed but that they could defend themselves 
valiantly ; and their enemies gained nothing but the bridge 
which was before the castle. The French lords, upon 
this, held a council, and sent to Toulouse for eight of their 
largest battering-engines, and constructed four other large 
ones upon the spot. These twelve engines cast stones 
into the fortress day and night ; but the besieged had 
taken such pains to avoid what mischief they could do, 
that they only destroyed the roofs of the houses. They 

124 Froissart's Chronicles. 

had also made counter-engines, which played upon those 
of their enemies, and in a short space of time totally 
ruined six of them. 

During this siege Sir Walter Manny made frequent 
excursions beyond the river, with about sixscore compan- 
ions, to forage, and often returned with his booty in sight 
of the army. One day the Lord Charles of Montmorency 
had been on a foraging party, with five or six hundred 
men, and was conducting a great number of cattle to vict- 
ual the army, when he met Sir Walter Manny under the 
walls of Aiguillon. They immediately began an engage- 
ment, which was very sharp, and many were killed and 
wounded on both sides. The French were at least five 
to one. News was brought of this into Aiguillon, when 
every one sallied out for the fastest, and the Earl of 
Pembroke with the foremost ; they dashed into the midst 
of them, and found Sir Walter Manny unhorsed, and sur- 
rounded by his enemies, but fighting most valiantly. He 
was directly rescued and remounted. During the heat of 
the engagement, the French hastened to drive off the 
cattle to a place of safety, or they would have lost them ; 
for the English were coming in crowds to succor their 
countrymen, and, falling upon the French vigorously, they 
put them to flight, rescued those they had made prisoners, 
and captured also many from them. The Lord Charles 
de Montmorency had great difficulty to escape, and re- 
treated as fast as he could, quite discomfited. When it 
was over, the English returned to Aiguillon. 

Such skirmishes frequently happened, for scarcely a day 
passed without some engagement. The French, having 
one day drawn out their arm}^, ordered those noblemen 
that were from Toulouse, Carcassonne, and Beaucaire, and 
their dependencies, to make an attack with their men, 

Froissart's Chronicles. 125 

from the morning until noon ; and those from Rouergue, 
Cahors, and Agenois, to continue it from their retreat 
until the evening. The duke promised to any of his 
soldiers who should gain the drawbridge of the castle a 
reward of a hundred golden crowns. The duke, in order 
to assist this attack, commanded a number of vessels and 
barges to come down the river, in which many embarked 
to cross it, while the remainder passed over the bridge. 
Those in the castle made a gallant defence ; but at last 
some of the French got into a small boat, and, passing 
under the bridge, fastened strong hooks and chains to the 
drawbridge, with which they pulled so lustily, that they 
broke the iron chains which held the bridge, and forced it 

The French, so eager were they to gain the promised 
reward, leaped upon the bridge in such haste that they 
tumbled over each other. The besieged flung down upon 
them stones, hot lime, large beams, and boiling water, so 
that many were hurt and drowned in the ditches. The 
bridge, however, was taken, though it cost them more than 
it was worth. But they could not gain the gate : there- 
fore, as it was late, they returned to their camp, for they 
had need of rest ; and those within the castle sallied out, 
and repaired the bridge, making it stronger than ever. 

On the next day two principal engineers came to the 
duke, and said, if he would find them wood and workmen 
they would build for him four such high towers, as, when 
they were advanced to the walls of the castle, should over- 
top them. The duke commanded all the carpenters of the 
country to be sent for, and handsomely paid. These four 
towers were constructed, and placed on the decks of four 
large vessels ; but they took a long time in making, and 
cost much monc) . Those ordered upon this attack em- 

126 Froissart's Chronicles. 

barked on board the vessels ; and, when they were about 
half way over the river, the besieged let off four martinets, 
which they had newly constructed to defend themselves 
against these towers. These four martinets cast such 
large stones, and so very rapidly, that the men at arms 
in the towers were much hurt by them ; and, having no 
means to shield themselves, they returned back as fast as 
they were able. But in their retreat one of the vessels 
foundered and sunk : the greater number of those that 
were on board were • drowned, which was a great pity, as 
they were chiefly valiant knights who were eager to 
distinguish themselves. When the duke found that this 
scheme did not answer his expectations, he ordered them 
to disembark from the three remaining vessels. He was 
at a loss what plan to follow, by which he could gain the 
castle of Aiguillon ; for he had vowed he would never quit 
the place until he was master of it and the garrison, unless 
the king his father ordered otherwise. The lords there- 
fore advised him to send the Constable of France and the 
Earl of Tancarville to Paris, to inform King Philip of 
the state of the siege, and to know if the king wished the 
Duke of Normandy to continue before Aiguillon until he 
had through famine made himself master of it, since he 
could not gain it by force. 

The King of England, having heard how much pressed 
his people were in the castle of Aiguillon, determined to 
lead a great army into Gascony. He set about making 
his preparations, summoned all the vassals in his king- 
dom, and collected forces from whatever quarter he could, 
that were willing to enter into his pay. About this time 
Sir Godfrey de Harcourt, who had been banished from 
France, arrived in England. He was received by the 
king in his palace ; and he assigned over to him a hand- 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 127 

some estate in England, to maintain him suitable to his 
rank. Soon after this the king assembled a large fleet of 
ships at Southampton, and sent thither his men at arms 
and his archers. About St. John the Baptist's Day, 1346, 
the king took leave of the queen, and, setting out, left her 
to the care of his cousin the Earl of Kent. He appointed 
the Lord Percy, and the Lord Neville of Raby, the Arch- 
bishop of York, the Bishop of Durham, and the Bishop 
of Lincoln, to be his lieutenants for the northern parts 
of his kingdom ; and he did not take so many forces 
out of the realm but that there was a sufficiency of 
men at arms left to defend it, should there be occasion. 
He took the road to Southampton, where he tarried until 
he had a favorable wind, when he embarked with his 
whole army. On board the king's ship were the Prince 
of Wales and Sir Godfrey de Harcourt : the other lords, 
earls, and barons embarked with their men, as they had 
been ordered. There might be about four thousand men 
at arms, and ten thousand archers, not including the Irish 
and the Welsh, who followed the army on foot. 

When they embarked,* the weather was as favorable as 
the king could wish, to carry him to Gascony ; but on the 
third day the wind was so contrary, that they were driven 
upon the coasts of Cornwall, where they cast anchor, and 
remained for six days and six nights. During this time 
the king altered his mind with respect to going toward 
Gascony, through the advice and representations of Sir 
Godfrey de Harcourt, who convinced him that it would 
be more for his interest to land in Normandy, by such 

* Boys who accompany King Edward on this expedition will be glad to 
know, at the outset, that they are not to be fobbed off with a few skirmishes 
and a retreat of both armies — as on the preceding ones. In fact, we are 
now on the way to fight the great battle of Crecy. — Ed. 

128 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

words as these : " Sir, that province is one of the most 
fertile in the world ; and I will answer on my head that 
you may land in any part of it you shall please without 
hinderance, for no one will think of opposing you. The 
Normans have not been accustomed to the- use of arms ; 
and all the knighthood that would have otherwise been 
there are at present with the duke before Aiguillon. You 
will find in Normandy rich towns and handsome castles 
without any means of defence, and your people will gain 
wealth enough to suffice them for twenty years to come. 
Your fleet may also follow you up the river Orne as far 
as Caen. I therefore entreat you will listen and give 
belief to what I say." The king, who at that time was in 
the flower of his youth, and who desired nothing better 
than to combat his enemies, paid much attention to what 
Sir Godfrey de Harcourt, whom he called cousin, had 
said. He commanded his sailors to steer straight for 
Normandy, and ordered the flag of the admiral, the Earl 
of Warwick, to be hoisted on board his ship : he took the 
lead, as admiral of the fleet, and made for Normandy with 
a very favorable wind. The fleet anchored near to the 
shores of Coutantin, and the king landed at a port called 
La Hogue St. Vast. News of his arrival was soon spread 
abroad : it was told all over the country, that the English 
had landed with a very great army. Messengers were 
instantly despatched to Paris, to the king, from the towns 
of Coutantin. He had already been informed that the 
King of England had embarked a numerous army, and 
was on the coasts of Normandy and Brittany ; but he was 
not sure for what particular port he intended to make. 
As soon, therefore, as he heard the English had landed, 
he sent for his constable, the Earl of Guignes, and the 
Earl of Tancarville, who were just come from Aiguil- 

Froissart's Chronicles. 129 

Ion, and ordered them to set off directly for Caen, to 
defend that place and the neighborhood against the 


The King of England marches into Normandy with his Army in 
THREE Battalions. 

WHEN the fleet of England was all safely arrived at 
La Hogue, the king leaped on shore first ; but by 
accident he fell, and with such violence that the blood 
gushed out of his nose. The knights that were near him 
said, " Dear sir, let us entreat you to return to your ship, 
and not think of landing to-day, for this is an unfortunate 
omen." The king instantly replied, " For what .-' I look 
upon it as very favorable, and a sign that the land is 
desirous of me." 

His people were much pleased with this answer. The 
king and his army lay that night upon the sands. In the 
mean time they disembarked their baggage, armor, and 
horses ; and there was a council held, to consider how 
they could act most advantageously. The king created 
two marshals of his army : one was Sir Godfrey de Har- 
court, the other the Earl of Warwick ; and he made the 
Earl of Arundel his constable. He ordered the Earl of 
Huntington to remam with his fleet, with a hundred or 
sixscore men at arms, and four lumdred archers. He 
then held another council respecting the order of march, 
and determined to divide the army into three battalions, 
one of which should advance on his right, following the 
seacoast, and another on his left ; and he himself, with 
the prince his son and the main body, in the centre. 

130 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

Every night the marshal's battalion was to retire to the 
quarters of the king. They then began their march, as 
they had resolved upon. Those who were on board the 
fleet coasted shores, and took every vessel, great and 
small, they met with. Both the armies of sea and land 
went forward until they came to a strong town called 
Barfleur, which they soon gained, the inhabitants having 
surrendered immediately for fear of losing their lives ; but 
that did not prevent the town from being pillaged and 
robbed of gold, silver, and every thing precious that could 
be found therein. There was so much wealth that the 
boys of the army set no value on gowns trimmed with 
fur. They made all the townsmen quit the place, and 
embarked them on board the fleet ; for they did not 
choose that after they had continued their march they 
should collect together, and attack them. 

After the town of Barfleur had been pillaged, but not 
burnt, they spread themselves over the country, near the 
seacoast, where they did whatever they pleased, for there 
were none to oppose them. They advanced until they 
came to a considerable and wealthy town called Cher- 
bourg, which they burnt and pillaged in part ; but they 
could not conquer the castle, as it was too strong and well 
garrisoned with men at arms : they therefore passed on, 
and came before Montbourg, near Valogues, which they 
pillaged and then set fire to. In this manner did they 
plunder and burn a great many towns in that country, 
and acquired so much riches that it would have been 
difficult to count their wealth. 

Froissart's Chronicles. 131 


The King of France collects a large Force to oppose the King 
OF England. 

THUS, while the English were burning and destroying 
great part of Normandy, the King of France was 
not idle, but had issued out his summons to the Lord 
John of Hainault, who came to him with a powerful com- 
pany of knights from Hainault and elsewhere : he also 
sent to every. earl, baron, and knight that were dependent 
on him. They obeyed his summons in such numbers as 
France had not seen for a hundred years ; but, as those in 
foreign countries were at great distances, they were long 
in arriving, and the King of England had overrun and 
destroyed the whole district of Coutantin in Normandy 
to its great detriment. 

When King Philip first heard of the destruction the 
King of England was making in his realm, he swore that 
the English should never return without his having com- 
bated with them, and that the mischief they had done to 
his people should be dearly paid for. He hastened, there- 
fore, to despatch his letters. He sent first to his good 
friends in the empire, because they were at the greatest 
distance; and also to the gallant King of Bohemia, whom 
he so much loved ; and to the Lord Charles of Bohemia, 
his son, who had then the title of King of Germany, 
which he had obtained, as was well known, through the 
influence of his father and the King of France, and he 
had already quartered the arms of the empire. King 
Philip entreated of them to come speedily to his assist- 

132 Froissart's Chronicles. 

ance, for he was impatient to meet the English who were 
despoiUng his kingdom. These lords had no intention 
of excusing themselves, but set about collecting a large 
body of men at arms from Germany, Bohemia, and Lux- 
embourg, and came to the King of France with a power- 
ful army. The King of France wrote also to the Duke 
of Lorraine, who came to serve him with upward of three 
hundred lances. The Earl of Savoy, the Earl of Saltz- 
burg, the Earl of Flanders, and Earl William of Namur, 
came also to King Philip, each of them with a very hand- 
some company. 

You have before heard the manner of the King of Eng- 
land's march : the two marshals on the right and left, and 
the King and Prince of Wales in the centre. They ad- 
vanced by short marches, and every day they encamped 
between ten and twelve o'clock. They found the country 
so abounding with provisions, that they had no need to 
seek for forage, except wines, of which there was a rea- 
sonable quantity. It is not to be wondered at, if the peo- 
ple of the country were alarmed and frightened, for they 
had never seen any men at arms, and knew nothing of 
war or battles : they therefore fled before the English, as 
soon as ever they heard they were coming, leaving their 
houses and barns quite full, for they had neither means 
nor art to save them. 

The King of England and Prince of Wales had in their 
battalion about three thousand men at arms, six thousand 
archers, ten thousand infantry, without counting those that 
were under the marshals; and they marched on in the 
manner I have before mentioned, burning and destroying 
the country, but without breaking their line of battle. 
They did not turn toward Coutances, but advanced to St. 
L6 in Coutantin, which in those days was a very rich and 

FroissarVs Chronicles. 133 

commercial town, and worth three such towns as Cou- 
tances. In the town of St. L6 was much drapery, and 
many wealth}^ inhabitants ; among them you might count 
eight or nine score that were engaged in commerce. 
When the King of England was come near to the town, 
he encamped : he would not lodge in it for fear of fire. 
He sent, therefore, his advanced guard forward, who soon 
conquered it at a trifling loss, and completely plundered it. 
No one can imagine the quantity of riches they found in 
it, nor the number of bales of cloth. If there had been 
any purchasers, they might have bought enough at a very 
cheap rate. 

The English then advanced toward Caen, which is a 
much larger town, stronger, and fuller of draperies and 
all other sorts of merchandise, rich citizens, noble dames 
and damsels, and fine churches. In particular, there are 
two very rich monasteries, one dedicated to St. Stephen, 
and the other to the Trinity. The castle is situated on 
one side of the town : it is the handsomest in all Nor- 
mandy ; and Sir Robert de Blargny was governor, with a 
garrison of three hundred Genoese. 

In the heart of the town were the Earl of Eu and of 
Guignes, the Constable of France, and the Earl of Tan- 
carville, with a crowd of men at arms. The king rode on 
very prudently, and, having united his three battalions, he 
took up his quarters for that night in the fields, two short 
leagues from Caen, near a town called Estreham, where 
there is a haven. He ordered the Earl of Huntington, 
whom he had made admiral of his fleet, to sail for that 
place. The Constable of France, and the other lords who 
were assembled in Caen, watched it well that night ; and 
on the morrow they armed themselves and all the inhab- 
itants. After they were drawn out, the constable and the 

134 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

Earl of Tancarville ordered that no one should leave the 
town, but should guard well the bridge, the gates, and 
the river. They gave up the suburbs to the English, be- 
cause they were not enclosed ; and they thought they 
should find sufficient employment to guard the town, 
which was only defended by the river. The townsmen, 
however, said they would march out into the plains, as 
they were in sufficient force to fight with the English. 
When the constable perceived their willingness, he said, 
" It shall be so, then ; but, in God's name, you shall not 
fight without me." They then marched out of the town 
in handsome order, and made a show as if they would 
fight valiantly, and risk their lives upon the event. 


The Battle of Caen. — The English take the Town. 

ON this day the English rose very earl}'-, and made 
themselves ready to march to Caen : the king heard 
mass before sunrise, and afterwards mounting his horse, 
with the Prince of Wales and Sir Godfrey de Harcourt 
(who was marshal and director of the army, and through 
whose advice the king had undertaken this expedition), 
marched forward in order of battle. The battalion of the 
marshals led the van, and came near to the handsome 
town of Caen. 

When the townsmen, who had taken the field, perceived 
the English advancing with banners and pennons flying in 
abundance, and saw those archers whom they had not 
been accustomed to, they were so frightened that they 
betook themselves to flight, and ran for the town in great 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 135 

disorder, without regarding the constable and the men at 
arms who were with them. The EngHsh pursued them 
eagerly ; which, when the constable and the Earl of Tan- 
carville saw, they gained a gate at the entrance of the 
bridge in safety, and a few knights with them, for the 
English had already entered the town. 

Some knights and squires of the French, who knew the 
road to the castle, made for it ; and the governor, Sir 
Robert de Blargny, received them all. As the castle was 
very large, and plentifully victualled, those were safe that 
could get there. 

The English, who were after the runaways, made great 
havoc ; for they spared none. When the constable, and 
those that had taken refuge with him within the gate of 
the bridge, looked round them, and saw the great slaughter 
the English were making (for they gave no quarter), they 
began to fear lest they should fall into the hands of some 
of those archers, who would not know who they were. 
But they perceived a knight who had but one eye, named 
Sir Thomas Holland (whom they had formerly known in 
Prussia and Grenada), coming toward them, in company 
with five or six other knights : they called to him, and 
asked if he would take them as his prisoners. Sir 
Thomas and his company advanced to the gate, and, dis- 
mounting, ascended to the top, with sixteen others, where 
he found the above-mentioned knights, and twenty-five 
more, who surrendered themselves to Sir Thomas. 

Having left a sufficient guard over them, he mounted 
his horse, rode through the streets, and prevented many 
acts of cruelty ; as did also other knights and squires, to 
whom several of the citizens owed their lives. It was for- 
tunate for the English that it was ebb-tide in the river, 
which admits large vessels, and the water very still, so 

136 Froissart's Chronicles. 

that they could pass and repass beside the bridge. Those 
inhabitants who had taken refuge in the garrets flung 
down from them in these narrow streets stones, benches, 
and whatever they could lay hands on, so that they killed 
and wounded upwards of five hundred of the English ; 
which so enraged the King of England, when he received 
the reports in the evening, that he ordered the remainder 
of the inhabitants to be put to the sword, and the town 
burnt. But Sir Godfrey de Harcourt said to him, " Dear 
sir, assuage somewhat of your anger, and be satisfied with 
what has already been done. You have a long journey 
yet to make before you arrive at Calais, whither it is your 
intention to go ; and there are in this town a great num- 
ber of inhabitants who will defend themselves obstinately 
in their houses, if you force them to it : besides, it will 
cost you many lives before the town can be destroyed, 
which may put a stop to the expedition to Calais, and that 
will not redound to your honor. Therefore be sparing of 
your men, for in a month's time you will have a call for 
them ; as it cannot otherwise happen but that your adver- 
sary King Philip must soon come to give you battle, and 
you may meet with many difficulties, assaults, and skir- 
mishes, that will find full employment for the number of, 
and even more if we could get them. We are complete 
masters of the town, without any more slaughter ; and the 
inhabitants, and all they possess, are at our disposal." 
The king replied, " Sir Godfrey, you are our marshal : 
therefore order as you please ; for this time we do not 
wish to interfere." 

Sir Godfrey then rode through the streets, his banner 
displayed before him, and ordered in the king's name that 
no one should dare, under pain of immediate death, to 
insult or hurt man or woman of the town, or attempt to 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 137 

set fire to it. Several of the inhabitants, on hearing this 
proclamation, received the English into their houses ; and 
others opened their coffers to them, giving up their all 
since they were assured of their lives. However, there 
were, in spite of these orders, many atrocious thefts and 
murders committed. The English continued masters of 
the town for three days. In this time they amassed great 
wealth, which they sent in barges down the river of Estre- 
ham to St. Saveur, two leagues off, where their fleet was. 
The Earl of Huntington made preparations, therefore, 
with the two hundred men at arms and his four hundred 
archers, to carry over to England their riches and prison- 
ers. The king purchased from Sir Thomas Holland and 
his companions the Constable of France and the Earl of 
Tancarville, and paid down twenty thousand nobles for 


The English commit great Depredations in Normandy. — Sir God- 
frey DE Harcourt encounters the Men at Arms of Amiens, on 
their Way to Paris, and King Edward marches into Picardy. 

WHEN the king had finished his business in Caen, 
and had sent his fleet to England loaded with cloths, 
jewels, gold and silver plate, and a quantity of other riches, 
and upward of sixty knights, with three hundred able citi- 
zens, prisoners ; he then left his quarters, and continued 
his march as before, his two marshals on his right and left, 
burning and wasting all the fiat country. 

They pushed forward until they came to Poissy, where 
the bridge was also destroyed ; but the beams and other 
parts of it were lying in the river. The king remained 

138 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

here five days, while they were repairing the bridge, so 
that his army might pass over without danger. His mar- 
shals advanced very near to Paris, and burnt St. Germain- 
en-Laye, La Montjoie, St, Cloud, Boulogne near Paris, and 
Bourg la Reine. The Parisians were much alarmed, for 
Paris at that time was not enclosed. King Philip upon 
this began to stir ; and, having ordered all the pent-houses 
in Paris to be pulled down, went to St. Denis, where he 
found the King of Bohemia, the Lord John of Hainault, 
the Duke of Lorraine, the Earl of Flanders, the Earl of 
Blois, and great multitudes of barons and knights, ready 
to receive him. When the Parisians learned that the king 
was on the point of quitting Paris, they came to him, and, 
faUing on their knees, said, "Ah, sire and noble king, 
what are you about to do } to leave your fine city of 
Paris .'' " The king replied, " My good people, do not be 
afraid : the English will not approach you nearer than 
they have done." He thus spoke in answer to what they 
had said, — that "our enemies are only two leagues off: 
as soon as they shall know you have quitted us, they will 
come hither directly ; and we are not able to resist them 
ourselves, nor shall we find any to defend us. Have the 
kindness, therefore, sire, to remain in your good city of 
Paris to take care of us." - The king replied, " I am going 
to St. Denis, to. my army; for I am impatient to pursue the 
English, and am resolved to fight with them at all events." 
The King of England remained at the nunnery of Poissy 
to the middle of August, and celebrated there the feast of 
the Virgin Mary. He sat at table in his scarlet robes with- 
out sleeves, trimmed with furs and ermines. He after- 
wards took the field, and his army marched as before : Sir 
Godfrey de Harcourt, one of his marshals, had the com- 
mand of the vanguard, with five hundred men at arms, and 

Froissart's Chronicles. 139 

about thirteen hundred archers. By accident he fell in 
with a large party of the citizens of Amiens on horseback, 
who were going to King Philip at Paris, in obedience to 
his summons. He immediately attacked them with those 
under his command ; but they made a good defence, as 
they were very numerous and well armed, and had four 
knights from Amiens with them. The engagement lasted 
a long time, and many were slain at the onset ; but at last 
those from Amiens were overthrown, killed, or taken pris- 
oners. The English seized all their baggage and arms, 
and found many valuables ; for they were going to the 
king excellently well equipped, and had but just quitted 
their city. Twelve hundred were left dead on the spot. 
The King of England entered the country of Beauvais, 
destroying all the flat country ; and took up his quarters 
in a rich abbey called St. Messien, near to Beauvais, where 
he lodged one night. The morrow, as he was on his 
march, he by chance turned his head round, and saw the 
abbey all in flames ; upon which he instantly ordered 
twenty of those who had set fire to it to be hung, as he 
had most strictly forbidden that any church should be vio- 
lated, or monastery set on fire. He passed near Beauvais 
without attacking it, — for he was anxious to be as careful 
of his men and artillery as possible, — and took up his 
quarters at a small town called Milly. The two marshals 
passed so near to Beauvais, that they advanced to attack 
it, and skirmish with the townsmen at the barriers, and 
divided their forces into three battalions. This attack 
lasted until the afternoon ; for the town was well fortified 
and provided with every thing, and the bishop was also 
there, whose exertions were of more service than those of 
all the rest. When the English found they could not gain 
any thing, they set fire to the suburbs, which they burnt 

140 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

quite close to the gates of the town, and then came, 
toward evening, to where the king was. 

The next day the king and his whole army marched 
forward, burning and wasting all the country as they went, 
and lay that night at a village called Grandvillier. On the 
morrow he passed near to Argis : his scouts not finding 
any one to guard the castle, he attacked and burnt it, and, 
passing on, destroyed the country, and came to Poix, which 
was a handsome town with two castles. The lords of both 
were absent, and no one was there but two handsome 
daughters of the Lord of Poix. In order more effectually 
to guard them, they brought them to the king, who, as 
in honor bound, entertained them most graciously. He 
inquired whither they would wish to go. They answered, 
to Corbie, to which place they were conducted in safety. 
The King of England lay that night in the town of Poix. 
The inhabitants of Poix, as well as those of the castle, 
had a conference with the marshals of the army, in order 
to save the town from being plundered and burnt. They 
offered to pay, as a ransom, a certain number of florins 
the ensuing day, as soon as the army should have marched 
off. On the morrow morning the king and army departed, 
except some few who remained behind, by order of the 
marshals, to receive the ransom from the townsmen. 
When the inhabitants were assembled together, and con- 
sidered the small number of the English who were left 
with them, they resolved to pay nothing, told them so, and 
directly fell upon them. The English defended them- 
selves gallantly, and sent after the army for succor. 
When Lord Reginald Cobham and Sir Thomas Holland, 
who commanded the rear-guard, were told of this, they 
cried out, "Treason! treason!" and returned back to 
Poix, where they found their countrymen still engaged 

FroissarVs Chronicles. 141 

with the townsmen. Almost all the inhabitants were 
slain, the town was bm-nt, and the two castles razed to 
the ground. The English then followed the king's army, 
which was arrived at Airaines, where he had ordered the 
troops to halt, and to quarter themselves for that night, 
strictly commanding, under pain of death, that no harm 
should be done to the town or inhabitants by theft or 
otherwise ; for he wished to remain there a day or two 
in order to gain information where he could best cross 
the river Somme, — which he was under the necessity of 
doing, as you will shortly hear. 


The King of France pursues the King of England, in the Coun- 
try OF Beauvais. 

I WISH now to return to King Philip, whom we left at 
St. Denis with his army, which was increasing every 
day. He marched off with it, and pushed forward until 
he came to Coppigny les Guises, which is three leagues 
distant from Amiens, where he halted. The King of 
England, who was still at Airaines, was much embarrassed 
how to cross the Somme, which was wide and deep, as 
all the bridges had been broken down, and their situations 
were well guarded by men at arms. The two marshals, at 
the request of the king, followed the course of the river, 
in order if possible to find a passage for the army : they 
had with them a thousand men at arms and two thou.sand 
archers. They passed by Lompr6, and came to Pont de 
Remy, which they found defended by numbers of knights, 
squires, and people of the country. The English dis- 

142 Froissart's Chronicles. 

mounted, and attacked the French from the very dawn of 
the morning until near ten o'clock ; but the bridge waS so 
well fortified and guarded, that they could not gain any 
thing : so they departed, and went to a large town called 
Fontaines-sur-Somrae, which they completely plundered 
and burnt, as it was quite open. They next came to 
another town, called Long, in Ponthieu ; but they could 
not gain the bridge, so well was it guarded. They then 
rode on to Pecquigny, but found the town, castle, and 
bridge so well garrisoned that it was impossible to pass. 
In this manner had the King of France ordered all the 
bridges and fords of the river Somme to be guarded, to pre- 
vent the King of England from crossing it with his army ; 
for he was resolved to force them to fight when he should 
see the most favorable opportunity, or else to starve them. 
The two marshals, having thus in vain followed the 
course of the Somme, returned to the King of England, 
and related to him that they were unable to find a passage 
anywhere. That same evening the King of PVance took 
up his quarters at Amiens, with upward of one hundred 
thousand men. The King of England was very pensive : 
he ordered mass before sunrise, and his trumpets to sound 
for decamping. All sorts of people followed the marshals' 
banners, according to the orders the king had issued the 
preceding day ; and they marched through the country of 
Vimeu, drawing near to the good town of Abbeville. In 
their march they came to a town where a great number 
of country-people had assembled, trusting to some small 
fortifications which were thrown up there ; but the Eng- 
lish conquered the town as soon as they came to it, and 
all that were within. Many of the townsmen and those 
from the adjoining country were slain or taken prisoners. 
The king lodged that night in the great hospital. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 143 

The King of France set out from Amiens, and came 
to Airaines about noon : the English king had quitted it 
about ten o'clock. The French found there provisions of 
all sorts ; meat on the spits, bread and pastry in the ovens, 
wine in barrels, and even some tables ready spread, for 
the English had left it in very great haste. The King of 
France fixed his quarters there, to wait for his nobles and 
their retinue. The King of England was in the town of 
Oisemont. When his two marshals returned in the even- 
ing, after having overrun the country as far as the gates 
of Abbeville, and . St. Valery, where they had a smart 
skirmish, the King of England summoned a council, and 
ordered many prisoners, whom his people had made in the 
districts of Ponthieu and Vimeu, to be brought before him. 

The king most courteously asked if any of them knew 
a ford below Abbeville, where he and his army could pass 
without danger ; and added, " Whoever will show us such 
a ford shall have his liberty, and that of any twenty of 
his fellow-soldiers whom he may wish to select." There 
was among them a common fellow whose name was Gobin 
Agace, who answered the king, and said, " Sir, I promise 
you, under peril of my life, that I will conduct you to such 
a place, where you and your whole army may pass the 
river Somme without any risk. There are certain forda- 
ble places where you may pass twelve men abreast twice 
in the day, and not have water above your knees ; but, 
when the tide is in, the river is full and deep, and no one 
can cross it : when the tide is out, the river is so low that 
it may be passed on horseback or on foot without danger. 
The bottom of this ford is very hard, of gravel and white 
stones, over which all your carriages may safely pass, and 
from thence is called Blanchetaque. You must therefore 
set out early, so as to be at the ford before sunrise." — 

144 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

"Friend," replied the king, "if I find what thou hast just 
said to be true, I will give thee and all thy companions 
their liberty ; and I will besides make thee a present of 
a hundred nobles." The king gave orders for every one 
to -be ready to march at the first sound of his trumpet, and 
to proceed forward. 


The Battle of Blanchetaque, between the King of England and 
Sir Godemar du Fay. 

THE King of England did not sleep much that night, 
but, rising at midnight, ordered his trumpet to sound. 
Very soon every thing was ready ; and, the baggage being 
loaded, they set out from the town of Oisemont about 
daybreak, and rode on, under the guidance of Gobin 
Agace, until they came to the ford of Blanchetaque about 
sunrise ; but the tide was at that time so full, they could 
not cross. The king, however, determined to wait there 
for those of his army who were not yet come up ; and he 
remained until after ten o'clock, when the tide was gone 
out. The King of France, who had his scouts all over 
the country, was informed of the situation of the King of 
England : he imagined, he should be able to shut him 
up between Abbeville and the Somme, and then take him 
prisoner, or force him to fight at a disadvantage. From 
the time of his arrival at Amiens, he had ordered a great 
baron of Normandy, called Sir God6mar du Fay, to guard 
this ford of Blanchetaque, at which the English must cross 
and nowhere else. Sir Godemar had set out, in obedience 
to this order, and had with him altogether one thousand 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 145 

men at arms and six thousand foot, with the Genoese. 
He had passed St. Ricquier in Ponthieii, and from there 
came to Crotoy, where this ford was. He had collected 
in his march great numbers of the country-people. The 
townsmen of Abbeville had also accompanied him, excel- 
lently well appointed : they had arrived at the passage be- 
fore the English. They were in all fully twelve thousand 
men. Among them were two thousand who had jackets 
resembling wagoners' frocks, called torriqiticmx. 

On the arrival of the English army, Sir Godemar du 
Fay drew up his men on the banks of the river to defend 
the ford. The King of England, however, did not for 
this give up his intention of crossing ; but, as soon as the 
tide was sufficiently gone out, he ordered his marshals to 
dash into the water, in the name of God and St. George. 
The most doughty and the best-mounted leaped in first, 
and in the river the engagement began : many on both 
sides were unhorsed into the water. There were some 
knights and squires from Artois and Picardy, in the pay 
of Sir Godemar, who, in hope of preferment and to ac- 
quire honor, had posted themselves at this ford ; and they 
appeared to be equally fond of tilting in the water as on 
dry land. 

The French were drawn up in battle-array near the 
narrow pass leading to the ford, and the English were 
much annoyed by them as they came out of the water to 
gain the land ; for there were among them Genoese cross- 
bow-men, who did them much mischief. On the other 
hand, the English archers shot so well together, that they 
forced the men at arms to give way. At this ford of 
Blanchetaque many gallant feats of arms were performed 
on each side ; but in the end the English cros.sed over, 
and, as they came on shore, hastened to the fields. After 

146 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

the king, the prince, and the other lords had crossed, the 
French did not long keep their order, but ran for the 
fastest. When Sir Godemar du Fay found his army was 
discomfited, he saved himself as quickly as he could, and 
many with him ; some making for Abbeville, others for St. 
Ricquier. The infantry, however, could not escape, and 
there were numbers of those from Abbeville, Arras, Mont- 
reuil, and St. Ricquier, slain or taken prisoners. The pur- 
suit lasted more than a league. The English had scarcely 
gained the opposite bank, when some of the light-horse of 
the French army, particularly those belonging to the King 
of Bohemia and Sir John of Hainault, advanced on the 
rear, took from them some horses and accouti-ements, and 
slew several on the bank who were late in crossing. The 
King of France had set out from Airaines that morning, 
thinking to find the English on the banks of the Somme. 
When news was brought to him of the defeat of Sir Gode- 
mar and his army, he immediately halted, and demanded 
of his marshals what was to be done. They answered, 
" You can only cross the river by the bridge of Abbeville, 
for the tide is now in at Blanchetaque." The King of 
France therefore turned back, and took up his quarters at 
Abbeville. The King of England, when he' had crossed 
the Somme, gave thanks to God for it, and began his 
march in the same order he had done before. He called 
to him Gobin Agace, gave him and his companions their 
freedom without ransom, and ordered the hundred nobles 
of gold to be presented him, as well as a good horse. The 
king continued his march, thinking to take up his quarters 
at a good and large town called Noyelle, situated hard by ; 
but when he was informed that it belonged to the Count- 
ess d'Aumale, sister to the late Robert d'Artois, he sent 
to 'assure the inhabitants, as well as all the farmers belong^- 

Froissart's Chronicles. 147 

ing to her, that they should not be hurt. He marched far- 
ther on, but his two marshals rode to Crotoy near the 
sea : they took the town, and burnt it. In the harbor they 
found many ships and other vessels laden with wines from 
Poitou, Saintonge, and La Rochelle. They ordered the 
best to be carried to the English army ; then one of the 
marshals pushed forward, even as far as the gates of 
Abbeville, and returned by St. Ricquier, following the 
seashore to the town of St. Esprit de Rue. 

These two battalions of the marshals came on a Friday, 
in the afternoon, to where the king was ; and they fixed 
their quarters, all three together, near Crecy in Ponthieu. 
The King of England, who had been informed that the 
King of France was following him in order to give him 
battle, said to his people, "Let us post ourselves here; 
for we will not go farther before we have seen our ene- 
mies. I have good reason to wait for them on this spot, 
as I am now upon the lawful inheritance of my lady- 
mother, which was given her as her marriage-portion ; and 
I am resolved to defend it against my adversary Philip de 
Valois." Inasmuch as his forces were not more than one- 
eighth as many as those of the King of France, his mar- 
shals fixed upon the most advantageous situation ; and the 
army went and took possession of it. He then sent his 
scouts toward Abbeville, to learn if the King of France 
meant to take the field this Friday; but they returned, and 
said they saw no appearance of it : upon which he dis- 
missed his men to their quarters, with orders to be in 
readiness by times in the morning, and to assemble in the 
same place. The King of France remained all Friday in 
Abbeville, waiting for more troops. He sent his marshals, 
the Lord of St. Vcnant, and Lord Charles of Montmo- 
rency, out of Abbeville to examine the country, and get 

148 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

some certain intelligence of the English. They returned 
about vespers, with the information that the English were 
encamped on the plain. That night the King of France 
entertained at supper in Abbeville all the princes and 
chief lords. There was much conversation relative to 
war ; and the king entreated them after supper, that they 
would always remain in friendship with each other, — that 
they would be friends without jealousy, and courteous 
without pride. The king was still expecting the Earl of 
Savoy, who ought to have been there with a thousand 
lances, as he had been well paid for them at Troyes in 
Champaign three months in advance. 


The Order of Battle of the English at Crecy, who were drawn 
UP IN THREE Battalions on Foot. 

THE King of England, as I have mentioned before, 
encamped this Friday in the plain, for he found the 
country abounding in provisions ; but if they should have 
failed he had plenty in the carriages which attended on 
him. The army set about furbishing and repairing their 
armor ; and the king gave a supper that evening to the 
earls and barons of his army, when they made good cheer.. 
On their taking leave, the king remained alone with the 
lords of his bedchamber : he retired into his oratory, and, 
falling on his knees before the altar, prayed to God, that, 
if he should combat his enemies on the morrow, he might 
come off with honor. About midnight he went to bed ; 
and, rising early the next day, he and the Prince of Wales 
heard mass, and took the communion. The greater part 

Froissart's Chronicles. 149 

of his army did the same, confessed, and made suitable 
preparations. After mass the king ordered his men to 
arm tliemselves, and assemble on the ground he had before 
selected. He had enclosed a large park near a wood in 
the rear of his army, in which he placed all his baggage- 
wagons and horses; and this park had but one entrance. 
His men at arms and archers remained on foot. 

The king afterwards ordered, through his constable and 
his two marshals, that the army should be divided into 
three battalions. In the tirst he placed the young Prince 
of Wales, and with him the Earls of Warwick and Oxford, 
Sir Godfrey de Harcourt, the Lord Reginald Cobham, 
Lord Thomas Holland, Lord Stafford, Lord Manley, the 
Lord Delaware, Sir John Chandos, Lord Bartholomew 
Burgherst, Lord Robert Neville, Lord Thomas Clifford, 
the Lord Bourchier, the Lord Latimer, and many other 
knights and squires whom I cannot name. There might 
be in this first division about eight hundred men at arms, 
two thousand archers, and a thousand Welshmen. They 
advanced in regular order to their ground, each lord under 
his banner and pennon, and in the centre of his men. In 
the second battalion were the Earl of Northampton, the 
Earl of Arundel, the Lords Ross, Willoughby, Basset, 
St. Albans, Sir Lewis Tufton, Lord Multon, the Lord 
Loccels, and many others ; amounting in all to about 
eight hundred men at arms and twelve hundred archers. 
The third battalion was commanded by the king, and was 
composed of about seven hundred men at arms and two 
thousand archers. 

The king then mounted a small palfrey, having a white 
wand in his hand, and attended by his two marshals on 
each side of him : he rode a foot's pace through all the 
ranks, encouraging and entreating the army that they 

150 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

would guard his honor, and defend his right. He spoke 
this so sweetly, and with such a cheerful countenance, that 
all who had been dispirited were directly comforted by 
seeing and hearing him. When he had thus visited all 
the battalions, it was near ten o'clock : he retired to his 
own division, and ordered them all to eat heartily, and 
drink a glass after. 

They ate and drank at their ease ; and, having packed 
up pots, barrels, &c., in the carts, they returned to their 
battalions, according to the marshals' orders, and seated 
themselves on the ground, placing their helmets and bows 
before them, that they might be the fresher when their 
enemies should arrive. 


The Order of the French Army at Crecy. 

THAT same Saturday the King of France rose be- 
times, and heard mass in the monastery of St. Peter's 
in Abbeville, where he was lodged. Having ordered his 
army to do the same, he left that town after sunrise. 
When he had marched about two leagues from Abbeville, 
and was approaching the .enemy, he was advised to form 
his army in order of battle, and to let those on foot march 
forward, that they might not be trampled on by the horses. 
The king upon this sent off four knights, the Lord Moyne 
of Bosthberg, the Lord of Noyer, the Lord of Beaujeu, and 
the Lord of Aubigny, who rode so near to the English 
that they could clearly make out their position. The 
English plainly perceived that they were come to recon- 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 151 

noitre them : however, they took no notice of it, but suf- 
fered them to return unmolested. When the King of 
France saw them coming back, he halted his army ; and 
the knights, pushing through the crowds, came near the 
king, who said to them, "My lords, what news?" They 
looked at each other without opening their mouths, for 
neither chose to speak first. At last the king addressed 
himself to the Lord Moyne, who was attached to the King 
of Bohemia, and had performed very many gallant deeds, 
so that he was esteemed one of the most valiant knights 
in Christendom. The Lord Moyne said, " Sir, I will 
speak, since it pleases you to order me, but under the 
correction of my companions. We have advanced far 
enough to reconnoitre your enemies. Know, then, that 
they are drawn up in three battalions, and are waiting for 
you. I would advise, for my part (submitting, however, 
to better counsel), that you halt your army here, and quar- 
ter them for the night ; for before the rear shall come up, 
and the army be properly drawn out, it will be very late, 
your men will be tired and in disorder, while they will 
find your enemies fresh and properly arrayed. On the 
morrow you may draw up your army more at your ease, 
and may reconnoitre at leisure as to the part where it will 
be most advantageous to begin the attack ; for be assured 
they will wait for you." The king commanded that it 
should be so done ; and the two marshals rode, one toward 
the front and the other toward the rear, crying out, " Halt 
banners, in the name of God and St. Denis ! " Those that 
were in the front halted; but those behind said they 
would not halt until they were as far forward as the front. 
When the front perceived the rear pressing on, they 
pushed forward ; and neither the king nor the marshals 
could stop them, but they marched without any order 


Froissarfs Chronicles. 

until they came in sight of their enemies. As soon as 
the foremost rank saw them, they fell back at once in 
great disorder; which alarmed those in the rear, who 
thought they had been fighting. There was then space 
and room enough for them to have passed forward, had 
they been willing : some did so, but others remained shy. 
All the roads between Abbeville and Crecy were covered 
with common people, who, when they were come within 
three leagues of their enemies, drew their swords, bawling 
out, " Kill, kill ! " and with them were many great lords 
that were eager to make show of their courage. There is 
no man, unless he had been present, that can imagine, 
or describe truly, the confusion of that day; especially 
the bad management and disorder of the French, whose 
troops were beyond number. What I know, and shall 
relate in this book, I have learned chiefly from the Eng- 
lish, — who had well observed the confusion they were in, 
— and from those attached to Sir John of Hainault, who 
was always near the person of the King of France. 


The Battle of Crecy, between the Kings of France and of 

THE English, who were drawn up in three divisions 
and seated on the ground, seeing their enemies 
advance, rose undauntedly up, and fell into their ranks. 
That of the prince was the first to do so, whose archers 
were formed in the manner of a portcullis, or harrow, and 
the men at arms in the rear. The Earls of Northampton 
and Arundel, who commanded the second division, had 

Froissart's Chronicles. 153 

posted themselves in good order on his wing to succor 
the prince, if necessary. 

You must know that these kings, earls, barons, and 
lords of France did not advance in any regular order, but 
one after the other, or any way most pleasing to them- 
selves. As soon as the King of France came in sight of 
the English, his blood began to boil, and he cried out to 
his marshals, " Order the Genoese forward, and begin the 
battle, in the name of God and St. Denis ! " There were 
about fifteen thousand Genoese crossbow-men ; but they 
were quite fatigued, having marched on foot that day 
six leagues, completely armed and with their crossbows. 
They told the constable they were not in a fit condition to 
do any great things that day in battle. The Earl of Alen- 
gon, hearing this, said, " This is what one gets by employ- 
ing such scoundrels, who fall off when there is any need 
for them." During this time a heavy rain fell, accompa- 
nied by thunder and a very terrible eclipse of the sun ; 
and before this rain a great flight of crows hovered in the 
air over all those battalions, making a loud noise. Shortly 
afterwards it cleared up, and the sun shone very bright ; 
but the Frenchmen had it in their faces, and the English 
at their backs. When the Genoese were somewhat in 
order, and approached the English, they set up a loud 
shout in order to frighten them ; but they remained quite 
still, and did not seem to attend to it. They then set up 
a second shout, and advanced a little forward ; but the 
English never moved. 

They hooted a third time, advancing with their cross- 
bows presented, and began to shoot. The English archers 
then advanced one step forward, and shot their arrows 
with such force and quickness, that it seemed as if it 
snowed. When the Genoese felt these arrows, which 

154 Froissart's Chronicles. 

pierced their arms, heads, and through their armor, some 
of them cut the strings of their crossbows, others flung 
them on the ground, and all turned about and retreated 
quite discomfited. The French had a large body of men 
at arms on horseback, richly dressed, to support the Geno- 
ese. The King of France, seeing them thus fall back^ 
cried out, " Kill me those scoundrels ; for they stop up 
our road, without "any reason." Then you should have 
seen the above-mentioned men at arms lay about them, 
killing all they could of these runaways. 

The English continued shooting as vigorously and 
quickly as before. Some of their arrows fell among the 
horsemen, who were sumptuously equipped, and, killing 
and wounding many, made them caper and fall among 
the Genoese, so that they were in such confusion they 
could never rally again. In the English army there were 
some Cornish and Welshmen on foot, who had armed 
themselves with large knives : these, advancing through 
the ranks of the men at arms and archers, who made way 
for them, came upon the French when they were in this 
danger, and, falling upon earls, barons, knights, and 
squires, slew many ; at which the King of England was 
afterwards much displeased. The valiant King of Bohe- 
mia was slain there. He was called Charles of Luxem- 
bourg, for he was the son of the gallant king and em- 
peror Henry of Luxembourg. Having heard the order of 
the battle, he inquired where his son the Lord Charles 
was : his attendants answered that they did not know, but 
believed he was fighting. The king said to them, " Gen- 
tlemen, you are all my people, my friends and brethren at 
arms this day : therefore, as I am blind, I request of you 
to lead me so far into the engagement that I may strike 
one stroke with my sword," The knights replied, they 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 


would directly lead him forward ; and, in order that they 
might not lose him in the crowd, they fastened all the 
reins of their horses together, and put the king at their 
head, that he might gratify his wish, and advanced toward 
the enemy. The Lord Charles of Bohemia, who already 
signed his name as King of Germany, and bore the arms, 
had come in good order to the engagement ; but, when he 
perceived that it was likely to turn out against the French, 
he departed, and I do not well know what road he took. 
The king his father rode in among the enemy, and made 
good use of his sword; for he and his companions fought 
most gallantly. They advanced so far that they were all 
slain ; and on the morrow they were found on the ground, 
with their horses all tied together. 

The Earl of Alencon advanced in regular order upon 
the English, to fight with them, as did the Earl of Flan- 
ders in another part. These two lords with their detach- 
ments, coasting, as it were, the archers, came to the 
prince's battalipn, where they fought valiantly for a length 
of time. The King of France was eager to march to the 
place where he saw their banners displayed ; but there 
was a hedge of archers before him. He had that day 
made a present of a handsome black liorse to Sir John of 
Hainault, who had mounted on it a knight of his called 
Sir John de Fusselles, that bore his banner ; which horse 
ran off with him, and forced his way through the English 
army, and, when about to return, stumbled and fell into a 
ditch, and severely wounded him. He would have been 
dead if his page had not followed him round tlic battal- 
ions, and found him unable to rise : he had not, liowever, 
any other hinderance than from his horse, for the English 
did not quit the ranks that day to make prisoners. The 
page alighted, and raised him up ; but he did not return 

156 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

the way he came, as he would have found it difficult from 
the crowd. This battle, which was fought on the Satur- 
day between La Broyes and Crecy, was very murderous 
and cruel, and many gallant deeds of arms were performed 
that were never known. Toward evening many knights 
and squires of the French had lost their masters : they 
wandered up and down the plain, attacking the English in 
small parties. They were soon destroyed ; for the English 
had determined that day to give no quarter, or hear of 
ransom from any one. 

Early in the day some French, Germans, and Savoyards 
had broken through the archers of the prince's battalion, 
and had engaged with the men at arms; upon which 
the second battalion came to his aid, and it was time, for 
otherwise he would have been hard pressed. The first 
division, seeing the danger t^ey vvere in, sent a knight in 
great haste to the King of England, who was posted upon 
an eminence near a windmill. On the knight's arrival he 
said, " Sir, the Earl of Warwick, the Lord Reginald Cob- 
ham, and the others who are about your son, are vigor- 
ously attacked by the French ; and they entreat that you 
would come to their assistance with your battalion, for, if 
their numbers should increase, they fear he will have too 
much to do." The king replied, "Is my son dead, un- 
horsed, or so badly wounded that he cannot support him- 
self .?" — "Nothing of the" sort, thank God," rejoined the 
knight; "but he is in so hot an engagement that he has 
great need of your help." The king answered, "Now, Sir 
Thomas, return to those that sent you, and tell them from 
me not to send again for me this day, or expect that I 
shall come, let what will happen, as long as my son has 
life : and say that I command them to let the boy win his 
spurs ; for I am determined, if it please God, that all the 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 157 

glory and honor of this day shall be given to him and to 
those into whose care I have intrusted him." The knight 
returned to his lords, and related the king's answer, which 
mightily encouraged them, and made them repent they 
had ever sent such a message. 

It is a certain fact, that Sir Godfrey de Harcourt, who 
was in the prince's battalion, having been told by some of 
the English that they had seen the banner of his brother 
engaged in the battle against him, was exceedingly anxious 
to save him ; but he was too late, for he was left dead on 
the field, and so was the Earl of Aumarle, his nephew. 
On the other hand, the Earls of Alen^on and of Flanders 
were fighting lustily under their banners, and with their 
own people ; but they could not resist the force of the 
English, and were there slain, as well as many other 
knights and squires that were attending on or accom- 
panying them. The Earl of Blois, nephew to the King 
of France, and the Duke of Lorraine, his brother-in-law, 
with their troops, made a gallant defence ; but they were 
surrounded by a troop of English and Welsh, and slain in 
spite of their prowess. The Earl of St. Pol and the Earl 
of Auxerre were also killed, as well as many others. Late 
after vespers, the King of France had not more about 
him than sixty men, every one included. Sir John of 
Hainault, who was of the number, had once remounted 
the king, for his horse had been killed under him by an 
arrow: he said to the king, "Sir, retreat while )^ou have 
an opportunity, and do not expose yourself so simply : if 
you have lost this battle, another time you will be the 
conqueror." After he had said this, he took the bridle 
of the king's horse, and led him off by force, for he had 
before entreated of him to retire. The king rode on until 
he came to the castle of La Broyes, where he found the 

158 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

gates shut, for it was very dark. The king ordered the 
governor of it to be summoned : he came upon the battle- 
ments, and asked who it was that called at such an hour. 
The king answered, " Open, open, governor : it is the for- 
tune of France." The governor, hearing the king's voice, 
immediately descended, opened the gate, and let down the 
bridge. The king and his company entered the castle ; 
but he had only with him five barons, — Sir John of Hai- 
nault, the Lord Charles of Montmorency, the Lord of 
Beaujeu, the Lord of Aubigny, and the Lord of Montfort. 
The king would not bury himself in such a place as that, 
but, having taken some refreshments, set out again with 
his attendants about midnight, and rode on under the 
direction of guides who were well acquainted with the 
countr}^ until about daybreak he came to Amiens, where 
he halted. This Saturday the English never quitted their 
ranks in pursuit of any one, but remained on the field, 
guarding their position, and defending themselves against 
all who attacked them. The battle was ended at the hour 
of vespers. 

[There can be no better opportunity than this celebrated chapter 
affords to show the young reader how Froissarfs Chronicles looked, 
both in their first Enghsh guise, and in the original old F'rench. It 
is, therefore, repeated here in both versions. 

The first is especially valuable as an example of how our lan- 
guage looked and sounded during the first quarter of the sixteenth 
century. The translator, John Bourchier, Lord Berners, was a 
notable soldier and statesman, as well as a scholar. He came of 
a good family : his grandfather was son of Anne, granddaughter of 
King Edward the Third. He was born about 1467 ; in due time went 
to college, fought in the French wars, travelled on the Continent, 
became a favorite of King Flenry the Eighth, was employed in honor- 
able embassies, became chancellor of the exchequer," and finally 
passed his quiet age as governor of Calais. It was at the request of 
King Henry the Eighth that he translated Froissart into English, 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 159 

though he evidently loved our fine old writer on his own account, and 
speaks thus in his quaint preface : ". . . Whan I advertysed and re- 
membred the manyfolde comodyties of hystorie, howe benefyciall it is 
to mortall folke, and eke howe laudable and merytoryous a deed it 
is to write hystories, fixed my mynde to do some thyng therein ; and 
ever whan this ymaginacyon came to me, I volved, tourned, and redde 
many volumes and bokes, conteyning famouse histories ; and amonge 
all other, I redde diligently the four volumes or bokes of sir Johan 
Froj^ssart of the countrey of Heynaulte, written in tlie Frenche tonge, 
whiche I iudged comodyous, necessarie, and profytable to be hadde in 
Englysshe, sithe they treat of the famous actes done in our parties ; 
. . . and specially they redounde to the honoure of Engiysshemen." 

Accordingly, under the "gracyous suppertacyon " of the king, he 
made his translation, the first volume of which was printed by Pya- 
son in the year 1523, announcing itself thus: "Here begynnith the 
firste volum of Syr John Froissart : of the Cronycles of Englande, 
Fraunce, Spayne, Portyugale, Scotlande, Bretaine, Flaunders : and 
other places adjoynynge. Translated oute of Frenche into oure ma- 
ternall Englysshe tongue, by John Bouchier, knyghte, lorde Berners : 
At the commandement of oure moste hyghe redouted Soveraygne 
lorde kynge Henrye the VIII, kynge of Englaunde, Fraunce, and Ire- 
lande, defendour of the faith : and of the church of Englande and 
also of Irelande in earth the supreme heade." 

I earnestly hope that this following chapter of what may perhaps 
fairly be called the first classic in modern English prose may tempt 
some young reader hereafter to study Berners more carefully, and to 
re-infuse, under his influence, the old fire and color and brightness 
into the pale and often pitiful sentences of our current style. — S. L.] 

Of the batayle of Cressy bytwene the kyng of England and the 
frenche kyng. 


Thenglysshmen who were in thre batayls, lyeing on the groundc 
to rest them, assonc as they saw the frenchmen aproche, they rose 
upon their fete, fayre and eascly, without any hast, and arranged their 
batayls : the first, which was the princes batell, the archers there 
stode in manner of a herse,* and the men of armes in the botome ot 

* French for a harrow. 

i6o Froissarfs Chronicles. 

the batayle. Therle of Northapton,* and therle of Arundell, with the 
second batell, were on a wyng in good order, redy to confort the 
princes batayle, if nede were. The lordes and knyghtes of France, 
cae * not to the assemble togyder in good order, for some cae before, 
and some came after, in such hast and yvell order, y' f one of the * 
dyd trouble another : whan the french kyng sawe the englysshmen, his 
blode chaunged, and sayde to his marshals, make the genowayes go 
on before, and begynne the batayle in the name of god and saynt 
Denyse ; ther were of the genowayes crosbowes, about a fiftene thou- 
sand, but they were so wery of goyng a fote that day, a six leages, 
armed with their crosbowes, that they sayde to their constables, we 
be not well ordred to fyght this day, for we be not in the case to do 
any great dede of armes, we have more nede of rest : these wordes 
came to the erle of Alanson, who sayd, a man is well at ease to be 
charged w' % suche a sorte of rascalles, to be faynt and fa)de now at 
moost nede. Also the same season there fell a great rayne, and a 
clyps, with a terryble thunder, and before the rayne, ther came fieyng 
over both batayls, a great nombre of crowes, for feare of the tem- 
pest comynge. Than anone the eyre beganne to wax clere, and the 
Sonne to shyne fayre and bright, the which was right in the french- 
mens eyen and on the englysshmens backes. Whan the genowayes 
were assembled toguyder, and beganne to aproche, they made a great 
leape and crye, to abasshe thenglysshmen, but they stode styll, and 
styredde not for all that; thane the genowayes agayne the seconde 
tyme made another leape, and a fell crye, and stepped forward a lytell, 
and thenglysshmen remeued not one fote ; thirdly agayne they leapt 
and cryed, and went forthe tyll they come within shotte ; thane they 
shotte feersly with their crosbowes ; than thenglysshe archers stept 
forthe one pase, and lette fly their arowes so hotly, and so thycke, that 
it semed snowe : when the genowayes felte the arowes persynge 
through heedes, armes, and brestes, many of them cast downe their 
crosbowes, and dyde cutte their strynges, and retourned dysconfited. 
Whan the frcnche kynge sawe them flye away, he sayd, slee these 
rascals, for they shall lette and trouble us without reason : then ye 
shulde have sene the men of armes dasshe in among them, and 
kylled a great nombre of them ; and ever styll the englysshmen shot 

* The mark "-" over a letter denotes an m or an « added: thus " cae" =s came,' 
" the " ^ them. 

Froissart^s Chronicles. i6i 

where as they sawe thyckest preace ; the sharpe arowes ranne into the 
men of armes, and into their horses, and many fell, horse and men, 
amoge * the genowayes ; and when they were downe, they coude not 
relyve agayne, the preace was so thycke, that one overthrewe another. 
And also amonge the englysshemen there were certayne rascalles that 
went a fote, with great knyves, and they went in among the men of 
armes, and slewe and murdredde many as they lay on the grounde, 
bothe erles, baronnes, knyghtes, and squyers, whereof the kyng of 
Englande was after dyspleased, for he had rather they had bene taken 
prisoners. The valyant kyng of Behaygne, called Charles of Luzen- 
bourge, sonne to the noble emperour Henry of Luzenbourge, for all 
that he was nyghe blynde, whan he understode the order of the ba- 
tayle, he sayde to them about hym, where is the lorde Charles my son, 
his men sayde, sir, we can not tell, we thynke he be fyghtynge ; than 
he sayde, sirs, ye ar my men, my companyons, and frendes in this 
iourney. I requyre you bring me so farre forwarde, that I may stryke 
one stroke with my swerde : they sayde they wolde do his commande 
ment, and to the intent that they shulde not lese hym in the prease, 
they tyed all their raynes of their bridelles eche to other, and sette 
the kynge before to acomplysshe his desyre, and so thei went on their 
ennemyes ; the lorde Charles of Behaygne, his sonne, who wrote hym- 
selfe kyng of Behaygne, and bare the armes, he came in good order 
to the batayle, but whane he sawe that the matter wente awrie on 
their partie, he departed, I can not tell you whiche waye ; the kynge his 
father was so farre forewarde that he strake a stroke with his swerde, 
ye and mo than foure, and fought valyantly, and so d3'de his company, 
and they advetured themselfe so forwarde, that they were ther all 
slayne, and the next day they were founde in the place about the kyng, 
and all their horses tyed eche to other. The erle of Alansone came to 
the batayle right ordynotlye, and fought with thenglysshmen ; and the 
erle of Flaunders also on his parte ; these two lordes with their c6- 
panyes coosted the englysshe archers, and came to the princes batayle, 
and there fought valyantly longe. The frenche kynge wolde f ;yne 
have come thyder whanne he sawe their baners, but there was a great 
hedge of archers before hym. The same day the frenche kynge hadde 
gyven a great blacke courser to sir Johan of Heynault, and he made 
the lorde Johan of Fussels to ryde on hym, and to berc his banerrc ; 
the same horse tooke the bridell in the tethe, and brought hym 

1 62 Froissart^s Chronicles. 

through all the currours of theglysshmen, and as he wolde have re- 
tourned agayne, he fell in a great dyke, and was sore hurt, and had 
ben ther deed, and his page had not ben,* who folowed hym through 
all the batayls, and sawe wher his maister lay in the dyke, and had 
none other lette but for his horse, for thenglysshmen wolde not yssue 
out of their batayle, for takyng of any prisoner; thane the page 
alyghted and relyved his maister, than he went not backe agayn y° 
same way that they came, there was to many in his waj'. This batayle 
bytwene Broy and Cressy, this Saturday, was right cruell and fell, and 
many a feat of armes done, that came not to my knowledge ; in the 
night, dyverse knyghtes and sqyers lost their maisters, and sometyme 
came on thenglysshmen, who receyved them in suche wyse, that they 
were ever nighe slayne, for there was none taken to mercy nor to 
raunsome, for so the englysshmen were determyned : in the mornyng 
the day of the batayle, certayne frenchemen and almaygnes f perforce 
opyned the archers of the princes batayle, and came and fought with 
the men of armes hande to hande : than the seconde batayle of theng- 
lysshmen came to socour the princes batayle, the whiche was tyme, 
for they had as than moche ado ; and they with y'= prince sent a mes- 
sanger to the kynge, who was on a lytell wyndmyll hyll ; than the 
knyght sayd to the kyng, sir, therle of Warwyke, and therle of Cafort, 
sir Reynolde Cobham, and other, suche as be about the prince your 
sorme, ar feersly fought with all, and are sore handled, wherfore they 
desyre you, that you and your batayle woUe come and ayde them, for 
if the frenchmen encrease, as they dout they woll, your sonne and 
they shall have much ado. Than the kynge sayde, is my sonne deed 
or hurt, or on the yerthe felled ; no sir, quoth the knyght, but he is 
hardely matched, wherfore he hath nede of your ayde. Well, sayde 
the kyng, retourne to hym, and to them that sent you hytlier, and say 
to them, that they sende no niore to me for any adventure that falleth, 
as long as my sonne is alyve ; and also say to the, that they suffre hym 
this day to wynne his spurres, for if god be pleased, I woll this iour- 
ney be his, and the honoure thereof, and to them that be aboute hym. 
Than the kynght retourned agayn to the, and shewed the kynges 
wordes, the which gretly encouraged them, and repoyned in that they 
had sende to the kynge as they dyd. Sir Godfray of Harecourt, wolde 
gladly that the erle of Harecourt, his brother, myght have bene saved, 

* That is, had been there deadif {■ssii. = an) it had not been for his page. 

\ almaygnes -= A llemands =r Gervmns. 

Froissart's Chro7iicles. 163 

for he hard say by the that sawe his baner, howe that he was ther in 
the felde on the french partie, but sir Godfray coude not come to 
hym betymes, for he was slayne or he coude coe at hym, and so was 
also the erle of Ahnare, his nephue. In another place, the erle of 
Alenson, and therle of Flaunders, fought valyantly, every lorde under 
his owne baner ; but finally, they coude not resyst agaynt the puys- 
sance of the englysshemen, and so ther they were also slayne, and 
dyvers other knyghtes and sqyers. Also therle Lewes of Bloyes, 
nephue to the frenche kyng, and the duke of Lorayne, fought under 
their baners, but at last they were closed in among a copany of eng- 
lysshmen and walsshemen, and there were slayne, for all their prowes. 
Also there was slayne, the erle of Ausser, therle of saynt Poule, and 
many other. In the evenynge, the frenche kynge, who had lefte about 
hym no mo than a threscore persons, one and other, wherof sir John 
of Heynalt was one, who had remounted ones the kynge, for his horse 
was slayne with an arowe, tha he sayde to the kynge, sir, departe 
hense, for it is tyme, lese not yourselfe wylfully, if ye have losse at 
this tyme, ye shall recover it agayne another season : and soo he toke 
the kynges horse by the brydell, and ledde hym away in a maner per- 
force : than the kyng rode tyll he came to the castell of Broy, the 
gate was closed, bycause it was by that tyme darke ; than the kynge 
called the captayne, who came to the walles, and sayd, who is that 
calleth there this tyme of night, than the kynge sayde, ojDen your 
gate quickely, for this is the fortune of Fraunce : the captayne knewe 
than it was the kyng, and opyned the gate, and let downe the bridge ; 
than the kyng entred, and he had with hym but fyve baronnes, sir 
Johan of Heynault, sir Charles of Momorency, the lorde of Beauiewe, 
the lorde Dobegny, and the lorde of Mountfort : the kynge wolde not 
tary there, but drake and departed thense about mydnyght, and so 
rode by suche guydes as knewe the countrey, tyll he came in the 
mornynge to Amyense, and there he rested. This Saturday, the eng- 
lysshemen never departed fro their batayls for chasynge of any man, 
but k£pt styll their felde, and ever defended themselfe agaynst all 
such as came to assayle them : this batayle ended aboute evynsonge 

[64 Froissart's Chronicles. 

Comment le Roi de France commanda A ses Mar^chaux faire 


II n'est nul homme, tant fut present k cette journee, ni eut bon 
loisir d'avisex- et imaginer toute la besogne ainsi qu'elle alia, qui en 
sut ni put imaginer, ni recorder la vdrite, specialement de la partie des 
Francois, tant y eut pauvre arroy et ordonnance en leurs courois (dis- 
position) ; et ce que j'en sais, je I'ai su le plus par les Anglois, qui 
imaginerent bien leur convenant (ordre), et aussi par les gens Mes- 
sire Jean de Hainaut, qui fut toujours de-lez (pres) le roi de France. 

Les Anglois qui ordonnds ^toient en trois batailles, et qui sdvient 
jus (bas) k terra tout bellement, sitot qu'ils virent les Frangois ap- 
procher, ils se leverent moult ordonndment, sans nul effroi, et se 
rangferent en leurs batailles, celle du prince tout devant, leurs archers 
mis en manifere d'une herse, et les gens-d'armes au fond de la bataille. 
Le comte de Northampton et le comte d'Ai^undel et leur bataille, 
qui faisoient la seconde, se tenoient sur aile bien ordonndment et 
avisos et pourvus pour conforter le prince, si besoin ^toit. Vous 
devez savoir que ces seigneurs, rois, dues, comtes, barons Francois 
ne vinrent mie jusques la tous ensemble, mais I'un devant, I'autre 
derriere, sans arroy et sans ordonnance. Ouand le roi Philippe vint 
jusques sur la place 011 les Anglois ^toient de Ik arretds et ordonnds, 
et il les vit, le sang lui mua, car il les htioit (haissoit) et ne se fut 
adonc nullement refrene (retenu) ni abstenu d'eux combattre ; et 
dit k ses marechaux : " Faites passer nos Gdnois devant et com- 
mencer la bataille, au nom de Dieu et de monseigneur St. Denis." 
Lk avoit, de ces dits Genois arbaldtriers, environ quinze mille qui 
eussent eu aussi cher neant que commencer adonc la bataille ; car 
ils dtoient durement las et travailles (fatigues) d'aller k pied ce jour 
plus de six lieues, tous armes, et de leurs arbaletres porter; et dirent 
adonc k leurs connetables (commandants) qu'ils n'^toient mie adonc 
ordonn^s de foire nul grand exploit de bataille. 

Ces paroles volerent jusques au comte d'Alengon, qui en fut dure- 
ment courrucd et dit : " On se doit bien charger de telle ribaudaille 
qui faillent (manquent) au besoin." 

Entrementes (pendant) que ces jsarols couroient et que ces Genois 
se reculoient et se detnoient (differoient) descendit une pluie du ciel, 
si grosse et si dpaisse que merveilles, et un tonnerre, et un esclistre 
(eclair) moult grand et moult horrible. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 165 

Paravant cette pluie, pardessus les batailles, autant d'un cotd que 
d'autre, avoient vole si grand' foison de courbeaux que sans nombre, 
et demeue le plus grand tempetes du monde. Lk disoient aucuns 
sages chevaliers que c'dtoit un signe de grand' bataille et de grand' 
effusion de sang. 

Apres toutes ces choses se commenga I'air a (^claircir et le soleil ^ 
luire bel et clair. Si I'avoient les Frangois droit en I'oeil et les Anglois 
par derriere. Ouand les Genois furent tous recuellis et mis ensemble, 
et ils durent approcher leurs ennemis, ils commencferent ^ crier si 
tres haut que ce fut merveilles, et le firent pour ebahir les Anglois ; 
mais les Anglois se tinrent tous cois, ni oncques n'en firent semblant. 
Secondement encore crierent eux ainsi, et puis allerent un petit pas 
avant ; et les Anglois restoient tous cois, sans eux mouvoir de leur 
pas. Tiercement encore crierent moult haut et moult clair, et pas- 
sferent avant, et tendirent leurs arbaletres et commenc^rent 5, traire 
(tirer). Et ces archers d'Angleterre, quand ils virent cette ordonnance, 
passerent un pas en avant, et puis firent voler ces sagettes (fleches) 
de grand' fagon, qui entrerent et descendirent si ouniement (a la fois) 
sur ces Genois que ce sembloit neige. Les Genois qui n'avoient pas 
appris k trouver tels archers que sont ceux d'Angleterre, quand ils 
sentirent ces sagettes (filches) qui leur pergoient bras, tetes et ban- 
levre, furent tantot d^confits et conf^rent les plusieurs les cordes de 
leurs arcs et les aucuns les jetoient jus (a bas) ; si se mirent aussi de 

Entre eux et les Frangois avoil^ une grand' haie de gens d'armes, 
montds et paris moult richement, qui regardoient le convenant (dis- 
position) des Genois; si que quand ils cuiderent (crurent) retourner, 
ils ne peuvent, car le roi de France, par grand mautalent (mecontente- 
ment), quand il vit leur pauvre arroy, et qu'ils se d^confisoient 
ainsi, commanda et dit: " Or tot, tuez toute cette ribaudaille, car ils 
nous empechent la voie sans raison." La vissiez gens d'armes en 
tous lez (cotds) entre eux f^rir et frapper sur eux, et les plusieurs 
trdbucher et cheoir parmi eux, qui oncques puis ne se releverent. 
Et toujours traioirent (tiroient) les Anglois en la plus grand' presse, 
qui rien ne perdoient de leur trait; car ils empalloient et fdroient 
parmi le corps ou parmi les membres gens et chevaux qui Ik chdoient 
(tomboient) et trebuchoient \ grand mcschef; et ne pouvoient etre 
relcvds, si ce n'dtoit par force et par grand' aide de gens. Ainsi se 
commenga la bataille entre la Broye et Crdcy en Ponthieu, ce samedi 
k heure de vespres. 

i66 Froissarfs Chronicles. 


The English on the Morrow again defeat the French. 

WHEN, on the Saturday night, the Enghsh heard no 
more hooting or shouting, nor any more crying out 
to particular lords or their banners, they looked upon the 
field as their own, and their enemies as beaten. They 
made great fires, and lighted torches because of the obscur- 
ity of the night. King Edward then came down from his 
post, who all that day had not put on his helmet, and, with 
his whole battalion, advanced to the Prince of Wales, 
whom he embraced in his arms, and kissed, and said, 
" Sweet son, God give you good perseverance : you are my 
son, for most loyally have you acquitted yourself this day. 
You are worthy to be a sovereign." The prince bowed 
down very low, and humbled himself, giving all the honor 
to the king his father. The English, during the night, 
made frequent thanksgivings to the Lord for the happy 
issue of the day, and without rioting ; for the king had 
forbidden all riot or noise. On the Sunday morning there 
was so great a fog that one could scarcely see the dis- 
tance of half an acre. The king ordered a detachment 
from the army, under the command of the two marshals, 
consisting of about five hundred lances and two thou- 
sand archers, to make an excursion, and see if there were 
any bodies of French collected together. The quota 
of troops from Rouen and Beauvais had, this Sunday 
morning, left Abbeville and St. Ricquier in Ponthieu, 
to join the French array, and were ignorant of the 
defeat of the preceding evening. They met this de- 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 167 

tachment, and, thinking they must be French, hastened to 
join them. 

As soon as the English" found who they were, they fell 
upon them, and there was a sharp engagement ; but the 
French soon turned their backs, and fled in great disorder. 
There were slain in this flight, in the open fields, under 
hedges and bushes, upward of seven thousand ; and, had it 
been clear weather, not one soul would have escaped. 

A little time after, the same party fell in with the Arch- 
bishop of Rouen, and the great Prior of France, who were 
also ignorant of the discomfiture of the French ; for they 
had been informed that the king was not to fight before 
Sunday. Here began a fresh battle, for these two lords 
were well attended by good men at arms : however, they 
could not withstand the English, but were almost all slain, 
with the two chiefs who commanded them, very few es- 
caping. In the course of the morning the English found 
many Frenchmen who had lost their road on the Saturday, 
and had lain in the open fields, not knowing what was be- 
come of the king or their own leaders. The English jDut 
to the sword all they met ; and it has been assured to me 
for fact, that of foot-soldiers sent from the cities, towns, 
and municipalities, there were slain, this Sunday morning, 
four times as many as in the battle of Saturday. 


The English number the Dead slain at the Battle of Crecy. 

THIS detachment, which had been sent to look after 
the French, returned as the king was coming from 
mass, and related to him all that they had seen and met 

1 68 Froissart's Chronicles. 

with. After he had been assured by them that there was 
not any appearance of the French collecting another army, 
he sent to have the numbers and condition of the dead 

He ordered on this business Lord Reginald Cobham, 
Lord Stafford, and three heralds to examine their arms, 
and two secretaries to write down all the names. They 
took much pains to examine all the dead, and were the 
whole day in the field of battle, not returning but just as 
the king was sitting down to supper. They made to him 
a very circumstantial report of all they had observed, and 
said they had found eighty banners, the bodies of eleven 
princes, twelve hundred knights, and about thirty thousand 
common men. 

The English halted there that day, and on the Monday 
morning prepared to march off. The king ordered the 
bodies of the principal knights to be taken from the 
ground, and carried to the monastery of Montenay, which 
was hard by, there to be interred in consecrated ground. 
He had it proclaimed in the neighborhood, that he should 
grant a truce for three days, in order that the dead might 
be buried. He then marched on, passing by Montrieul- 

His marshals made an excursion as far as Hesdin, and 
burnt Vaubain and Serain ; but they could make nothing 
of the castle, as it was too strong and well guarded. They 
lay that Monday night upon the banks of the Canche, near 
Blangy. The next day they rode toward Boulogne, and 
burnt the towns of St. Josse and Neufchatel : they did the 
same to Estaples, in the country of the Boulonois. The 
whole army passed through the forest of Hardelou, and 
the country of the Boulonois, and came to the large town 
of Wisant, where the king, prince, and all the English 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 169 

lodged ; and, having refreshed themselves there one whole 
day, they came on the Thursday before the strong town 
of Calais. 


The King of England lays Siege to Calais. — The Poorer Sort 
OF the Inhabitants are sent out of it. 

A BURGUNDY knight named Sir John de Vienne 
was governor of Calais ; and with him were Sir Ar- 
nold d'Andreghen, Sir John de Surie, Sir Bardo de Belle- 
bourne, Sir Geoffrey de la Motte, Sir Pepin de Were, and 
many other knights and squires. On the king's arrival 
before Calais, he laid siege to it, and built, between it and 
the river and bridge, houses of wood ; they were laid out 
in streets, and thatched with straw or broom ; and in this 
town of the king's there was every thing necessary for an 
army, besides a market-place, where there were markets 
every Wednesday and Saturday for butchers' meat, and all 
other sorts of merchandise : cloth, bread, and every thing 
else, which came from England and Flanders, might be 
had there, as well as all comforts, for money. The Eng- 
lish made frequent excursions to Guines and its neighbor- 
hood, and to the gates of St. Omer and Boulogne, from 
whence they brought great booties back to the army. The 
king made no attacks upon the town, as he knew it would 
be only lost labor, and he was sparing of his men and 
artillery ; but said he would remain there so long that he 
would starve the town into a surrender, unless the King of 
France should come there to raise the siege. When the 
governor of Calais saw the preparations of the King of 
England, he collected together all the poor inhabitants. 

170 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

who had not laid in any store of provisions, and, one 
Wednesday morning, sent upward of seventeen hundred 
men, women, and children out of the town. As they were 
passing through the English army, they asked them why 
they had left the town. They replied, because they had 
nothing to eat. The king upon this allowed them to 
pass through in safety, ordered them a hearty dinner, and 
gave to each two sterlings, as charity and alms ; for which 
many of them prayed earnestly for the king. 


The Duke of Normandy raises the Siege of Aiguillon. 

THE Duke of Normandy, whom we left before Aiguil- 
lon, which he was besieging, while Sir Walter Man- 
ny and the other knights were within it, made, about the 
middle of August, a skirmish before the castle, which in- 
creased so much that almost his whole army was engaged 
in it. Near about this time, the Lord Philip of Burgundy, 
Earl of Artois and of Boulogne, and cousin-german to the 
duke, arrived. He was a very young knight. As soon as 
this skirmish commenced, he armed himself, and, mount- 
ing a handsome steed, stuck spurs into him in order to 
hasten to the combat ; but the horse, taking the bit be- 
tween his teeth, ran off with him, and in crossing a ditch 
fell into it, upon the knight, who was so grievously bruised 
that he never recovered, and in a short time died. Soon 
afterwards the King of France sent to his son the Duke of 
Normandy, to lay all other things aside, and raise the siege, ' 
in order to return directly into France to defend his in- 
heritance against the English. The duke upon this de- 

Froissart's Chronicles. 171 

manded advice from the earls and barons there present, 
for he had vowed he would never move from thence until 
he had the castle, and all within it, in his power ; but they 
assured him, since the king his father had so expressly 
ordered him to return, he might comply without any for- 
feiture of his honor. On the morrow at break of day, 
therefore, the French decamped, and, trussing up tents 
and baggage with great haste, took the road for France. 

The knights who were in Aiguillon, seeing this, armed 
themselves, and, mounting their horses, sallied forth (the 
pennon of Sir Walter Manny taking the lead), fell upon 
the French, who were scarcely all marched off, cut down 
and slew numbers, and took upward of forty prisoners, 
whom they brought back to the castle. From them they 
learned the successful campaign the King of England had 
made in France, and that at present he was laying siege 
to Calais, Before the King of France left Amiens, after 
the battle of Crecy, to go for Paris, he was so much en- 
raged against Sir Godemar du Fay, for not having done 
his duty in defending the ford of Blanchetaque, by which 
means the English had entered Ponthieu, that he had 
determined to hang him ; to which many of his council 
also were inclined, for they were desirous that Sir Gode- 
mar should make some amends, by his death, for tlie 
defeat the king had suffered at Crecy, and called him 
traitor. But Sir John of Hainault excused him, and 
averted the king's anger, by saying that it would have 
been difficult for him to have resisted the English army, 
when all the flower of the French nobility could do 
nothing. Soon after this the Duke of Normandy arrived 
in France, where he was joyfully received by his parents 
the king and queen. 

172 Froissarfs Chronicles. 


Sir Walter Manny, by Means of a Passport, rides through 
France from Aiguillon to Calais. 

ABOUT this time Sir Walter Manny had a conversa- 
tion with a great knight from Normandy, whom he 
detained as his prisoner, and asked him what sum he was 
wilHng to pay for his ransom. The knight repHed, 
"Three thousand crowns." Upon this Sir Walter said, 
" I know you are related to the Duke of Normandy, much 
beloved by him, and one of his privy councillors. I will 
.let you free upon your honor, if you will go to the duke, 
and obtain from him a passport for myself and twenty 
others, that we may ride through France as far as Calais, 
paying courteously for whatever we may want. If there- 
fore you obtain this from the king, I shall hold you free 
from your ransom, and also be much obliged to you ; for I 
have a great desire to see the King of England, and will 
not remain in any town more than one night. If you 
cannot accomplish it, you will return in a month to this 
fortress, as to your prison." The knight set out for Paris, 
and having obtained from the duke the passport, returned 
with it to Sir Walter at Aiguillon, who acquitted him of 
his ransom. Sir Walter shortly afterwards set out with 
twenty horse, and took his road through Auvergne. He 
told everywhere who he was, and, at every place he 
stopped, showed his passport, and was directly set at 
liberty ; but at Orleans he was arrested, although he 
showed his papers, and from thence conducted to Paris, 
where he was confined in the prison of the Chatelet. 

Froissart's Chronicles. 173 

When the Duke of Normandy heard of it, he went imme- 
diately to the king, and remonstrated with him on the 
subject, because Sir Walter Manny had had his passport 
through his means ; and demanded that he should as soon 
as possible be set at liberty, otherwise it would be said 
that he had betrayed him. The king answered that he 
intended putting him to death, for he looked upon him as 
one of his greatest enemies. Upon which the duke said, 
that, if he put his intentions in execution, he would 
never bear arms against the King of England, and would 
prevent all those dependent on him from doing the same. 
Very high words passed between them; and he left the 
king, declaring he would never serve in any of his armies 
so long as Walter Manny should remain in prison. 

Things remained in this situation a long time. There 
was a knight from Hainault, named Sir Mansart d'Aisnes, 
who was eager to serve Sir Walter, but had great difficulty 
in getting access to the Duke of Normandy : however, at 
last the king was advised to let Sir Walter out of prison, 
and to pay him all his expenses. The king would have 
Sir Walter to dine with him in the Hotel de Nerle at 
Paris, when he presented him with gifts and jewels to 
the amount of a thousand florins. Sir Walter accepted 
of them upon condition that when he got to Calais he 
should inform the king, his lord, of it ; and if it were 
agreeable to his pleasure he would keep them, otherwise 
he would send them back. The king and duke said he 
had spoken like a loyal knight. Sir Walter then took 
leave of them, rode on by easy day's journeys to Hai- 
flault, and remained, to refresh himself, three days in 
Valenciennes. He arrived at Calais, where he was well 
received by the King of England, who, upon being in- 
formed by Sir Walter of the presents he had from the 

174 Froissart's Chronicles. 

King of France, said, " Sir Walter, you have hitherto 
most loyally served us, and we hope you will continue to 
do so. Send back to King Philip his presents, for you 
have no right to keep them : we have enough, thank God, 
for you and ourselves, and are perfectly well disposed to 
do yoH all the good in our power for the services you 
have rendered us." Sir Walter took out all the jewels, 
and, giving them to his cousin the Lord of Mansac, said, 
"Ride into France, to King Philip, and recommend me 
to him ; and tell him that I thank him many times for the 
fine jewels he presented me with, but that it is not agree- 
able to the will and pleasure of the King of England, my 
lord, that I retain them." The knight did as he was 
commanded ; but the King of France would not take 
back the jewels : he gave them to the Lord of Mansac, 
who thanked the king for them, and had no inclination to 
refuse them. 


The King of Scotland, during the Siege of Calais, invades 

I HAVE been silent some time respecting the King of 
Scotland, but until this moment I have not had any 
thing worth relating ; for, as I have said before, mutual 
truces had been granted between him and the King of 
England, which had not been infringed. During the time 
the King of England was carrying on the siege of Calais, 
the Scots determined to make war upon him, thinking it 
a good opportunity to be revenged for the many disasters 
he had brought on them. England had at that time very 
few men at arms, as the king had a great number with him 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 175 

befoce Calais, as well as in his other armies in Brittany, 
Poitou, and Gascony, The King of France took great 
pains to foment this war, in order that the English might 
have so much to employ them at home as would oblige 
them to raise the siege of Calais, and return to England. 

King David issued his summons for a parliament to be 
holden at Perth ; which was attended by the earls, prel- 
ates, and barons of Scotland, who were unanimous for 
invading England as speedily as possible. Raynold, LoitI 
of the Isles, who governed the wild Scots, and whom alone 
they obeyed, was sent to, and entreated to attend the 
parliament. He complied with the request, and brought 
three thousand of the wildest of his countrymen with him. 
When all the Scots were assembled, they amounted to- 
gether to about forty thousand combatants ; but they 
could not make their preparations so secretly as to prevent 
news of it coming to the knowledge of the Queen of Eng- 
land, who had taken up her residence in the North, near 
the borders. She wrote and sent summons to all that 
were attached to England to come to York by a certain 
day. Many men at arms and archers who had remained 
at home put themselves in motion, and advanced to New- 
castle-upon-Tyne, which the queen had appointed as the 
final place of rendezvous. In the mean while, the Scots 
set out from Perth, and advanced the first day to Dun- 
fermline ; the next day they crossed a small arm of the 
sea ; but the king went to Stirling, crossed the water on 
the morrow, and came to Edinburgh. Here they halted, 
and numbered their men. There were full three thousand 
knights and squires, well armed, and thirty thousand 
others, mounted on galloways. They marched to Rox- 
burgh, the first fortress belonging to the English on their 
road, under the command of the Lord William Montacute, 

176 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

who had lately erected it against the Scots. This castle 
is handsome, and very strong : the Scots therefore passed 
on without attacking it, and took up their quarters on the 
banks of a river between Precy and Lincolle, whence 
they began to destroy and burn the country of Cumber- 
land. Some of their scouts advanced as far as York, 
where they burnt all without the walls and down the river, 
and returned to their army, within one day's march of 


The Battle of Neville's Cross. 

THE Queen of England, who was very anxious to de- 
fend her kingdom and guard it from all disturbers, 
in order to show that she was in earnest about it came 
herself to Newcastle-upon-Tyne. She took up her resi- 
dence there, to wait for the forces she expected from 
different parts of the kingdom. The Scots, who were in- 
formed that Newcastle was the place of rendezvous of the 
English army, advanced thither, and sent their vanguard 
to skirmish near the town ; who, on their return, burnt 
some hamlets adjoining to it. The smoke and flames 
came into the town, which made the English impatient to 
sally out upon those who had done this mischief ; but 
their leaders would not permit them. On the morrow the 
King of Scotland, with full forty thousand men, including 
all sorts, advanced within .three short English miles of 
Newcastle, and took up his quarters on the land of the 
Lord Neville. He sent to inform the army in the town, 
that, if they were willing to come forth, he would wait for 

Froissart 's Chron ides. 177 

them, and give them battle. The barons and prelates of 
England sent for answer, that they accepted his offer, and 
would risk their lives with the realm of their lord and 
king. They sallied out, in number about twelve hundred 
men at arms, three thousand archers, and seven thousand 
other men, including the Welsh. The Scots posted them- 
selves opposite to the English, and each army was drawn 
out in battle-array. 

The Queen of England came to the place where her 
army was, and remained until it was drawn out in four 
battalions. The first was under the command of the 
Bishop of Durham and the Lord Percy ; the second, under 
the Archbishop of York and the Lord Neville ; the third, 
under the Bishop of Lincoln and Lord Mowbray ; the 
fourth was commanded by Lord Baliol, governor of Ber- 
wick, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Lord Roos. 
Each battalion had its just proportion of men at arms 
and archers, as was expedient. The queen now advanced 
among them, and entreated them to do their duty well in 
defending the honor of their lord and king, and urged 
them, for the love of God, to fight manfully. They prom- 
ised her that they would acquit themselves loyally, to 
the utmost of their power, and perhaps better than if the 
king had been there in person. The queen then took her 
leave, and recommended them to the protection of God 
and St. George. The two armies were soon after in mo- 
tion, and the archers on each side began to shoot ; but 
those of the Scots did not long continue it, while the 
English shot incessantly. When the battalions were got 
into close combat, the engagement was sharp and well 

The battle began about nine o'clock, and lasted until 
noon. The Scots had very hard and sharp axes, with 

178 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

which they dealt deadly blows ; but at last the English 
gained the field, though it cost them dear by the loss of 
their men. On the part of the Scots, there fell in the 
field the Earl of Sys, the Earl Dostre, the Earl Patris, the 
Earl of Furlant, the Earl Dastredure, the Earl of Mar, 
the Earl John Douglas, Sir Alexander Ramsay who bore 
the king's banners, and many other barons, knights, and 
squires. The King of Scotland was taken prisoner, fight- 
ing most ^gallantly, and badly wounded before he was 
captured by a squire of Northumberland named John 
Copeland ; who, as soon as he got him, pushed through 
the crowd, and with eight other companions rode off, and 
never stopped until he was distant from the field of battle 
about fifteen miles. He came about vespers to Ogle 
Castle, on the river Blythe, and there declared that he 
would not surrender his prisoner, the King of Scotland, 
to man or woman, except to his lord the King of England. 
That same day were taken prisoners the Earls pf Murray 
and March, Lord William Douglas, Lord Robert de 
Wersy, the Bishops of Aberdeen and St, Andrews, and 
many other barons and knights. There were about fifteen 
thousand slain, and the remainder saved themselves as 
well as they could. This battle was fought near New- 
castle, in the year 1346, on a Saturday preceding Michael- 
mas Day. 

[The old ballad of " Durham Feilde " sings the battle of Neville's 
Cross described in the foregoing chapter, calling it " Durham Field " 
after the Bishop of Durham, who led the English. The poem is 
divided into two parts, of which only the second is here given on 
account of its length. The First Part relates, in true old-servant 
style, how the King of Scotland was informed that the King of Eng- 
land was gone into France with all his soldiers, leaving none behind 
but " Shepherds and millers, And priests with shaven crowns ; " 

Froissart's Chronicles. 179 

whereupon " the King of Scots in a study stood," and resolved to 
seize such a favorable moment to overrun England in the absence of 
its king. He calls together his lords, and in a boastful mood proceeds 
to divide out the whole of England among them, as if he had nothing 
to do but march forward and take possession. Presently, however, 
his army is confronted with "the comminaltye of litle England;" the 
King of Scots brags that 

" They be but English knaves, 

But shepherds and millers both, 
And mass priests with their staves ; " 

and sends his herald to view them. When the herald returns, 

" Who leads those lads ? " said the King of Scots, 

" Thou herald, tell thou me." 
The herald said, " The Bishop of Durham 

Is captain of that companye ; 
For the Bishop hath spread the King's banner, 

And to battell he buskes him boune." * 
"I sweare by St. Andi-ewe's bones," sales the King, 

" I'll rapp that priest on the crowne ! " 

But presently a very different tale is told in 

The King looked towards litle Durham, 

& that hee well beheld, 
that the Earle Percy was well armed, 

with his battell axe entred the feild. 

the King looket againe towards litle Durham, 

4 ancyents \ there see hee ; 
there were to % standards, 6 in a valley, 

he cold not see them with his eye. 

My Lord of yorke was one of them, 
my lord of Carlile was the other; 

That is, makes him ready. t Etisigiis. % Two. 

i8o Froissarfs Chronicles. 

& my Lord ffluwilliams, 
the one came with the other. 

the Bishopp of Durham commanded his men, 

& shortlye he them bade, 
' that never a man shold goe to the feild to fight 

til he had served his god.' 

500 priests said masse that day 

in durham in the feild ; 
& afterwards, as I hard say, 

they bare both speare & sheeld. 

the Bishopp of Durham orders himselfe to fight 

with his battell axe in hand ; 
he said, " this day now I will fight 

as long as I can stand ! " 

" & soe will I," sayd my Lord of Carlile, 

" in this faire morning gay ; " 
"& soe will I," said my Lord ffluwilliams, 

" for Mary, that myld may." * 

our English archers bent their bowes 

shortlye and anon, 
they shott over the Scottish oast 

& scantlye toucht a man. 

" hold downe your hands," sayd the Bishopp of Durham, 

" my archers good & true." 
the 2d shoote that th^ f shott 

full sore the Scottes itt rue. 

the Bishopp of Durham spoke on hye 

that both partyes might heare, 
" be of good cheere, my merrymen all, 

the Scotts flyen,t & changen there cheere ! " 

* Mild maid, — the Virgin Mary. t They. % Fly. 

FroissarVs Chronicles. i8i 

but as thd saidden, soe thd didden, 

they fell on lieapes hye ; 
our Englishmen laid on with their bowes 

as fast as they might dree. 

The King of Scotts in a studye stood 

amongst his companye, 
an arrow stol-ce him thorrow the nose 

& thorrow his armorye. 

The King went to a marsh side 

& light beside his steede, 
and leaned him down on his sword hilt, 

to let his nose bleede. 

there followed him a yeoman of merry England, 

his name was John of Coplande ; 
" yeeld thee Traytor ! " saies Coplande then, 

" thy liffe lyes in my hand." 

" how shold I yeeld me ? " sayes the King, 

" & thou art noe gentleman." 
" noe, by my troth," sayes Copland there, 

" I am but a poore yeoman ; 

" what art thou better then I, Sir King ? 

tell me if that thou can ! 
what art thou better then I, Sir King, 

now we be but man to man ? " 

the King smote angerly at Copland then, 

angerly in that stonde ; 
& then Copland was a bold yeoman, 

& bore the King to the ground. 

he sett the King upon a Palfrey, 

himselfe upon a steede, 
he tooke him by the bridle rayne, 

towards London he can * him Lead. 

* ^gan, — began. 

Froissart's Chronicles. 

& when to London that he came, 
the King from ffrance was new come home. 

& there unto the King of Scottes 
he sayd these words anon, 

" how like you my shepards & my millers, 

my priests with shaven crownes ? " 
•' by my fayth, they are the sorest fighting men 

that ever I mett on the ground ; 

" there was never a yeoman in merry England 

but he was worth a Scottish knight ! " 
" I,* by my troth," said King Edward, & laughe, 

" for you fought all against the right." 

but now the Prince of merry England 

worthilye under his Sheelde 
hath taken the King of ffrance 

at Poytiers in the ffeelde. 

the Prince did present his father with that food,t 

the lovely King off ffrance, 
& fforward of his lourney he is gone : 

god send us all good chance ! 

" you are welcome, brothers ! " sayd the King of Scotts, 
to the King of ffrance, 

" for I am come hither too soone ; 
Christ leeve that I had taken my way 

unto the court of Roone ! " 

" & soe wold I," said the King of ffrance, 

" when I came over the streame, 
that I had taken my lourney 

unto Jerusalem." 

Thus ends the battell of ffaire Durham 
in one morning of may, 

* Ay, — yea. t Feod, — one who owes fealty. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 183 

tlie battell of Cressey, & the battle of Potyers, 
All within one monthes day. 

then was welthe and welfare in mery England, 

Solaces, game, & glee, 
& every man loved other well, 

& the King loved good yeomanrye 

but God that made the grasse to growe, 

& leaves on greenwoode tree, 
now save & keepe our noble King, 

& maintaine good yeomanry ! 



John Copeland takes the King of Scotland Prisoner, and 


WHEN the Queen of England, who had remained in 
Newcastle, heard that her army had gained the 
day, she mounted her palfrey, and went to the field of 
battle. She was informed that the King of Scotland had 
been made prisoner by a squire of the name of John 
Copeland, but who had ridden off with him, they could not 
tell whither. The queen ordered that a letter should be 
written, commanding him to bring the King of Scots to 
her, and telling him that he had not done what was agree- 
able to her in carrying off his prisoner without leave. 
All that day the queen and army remained on the field of 
battle which they had won, and on the morrow returned 
to Newcastle. 

When the letter from the queen was presented by a 

184 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

knight to John Copeland, he answered that he would not 
give up his prisoner, the King of Scots, to man or woman, 
except to his own lord the King of England; that they 
might depend on his taking proper care of him, and he 
would be answerable for guarding him well. The queen 
upon this wrote letters to the king, which she sent off to 
Calais. She therein informed him of the state of his 
kingdom. The king then ordered John Copeland to come 
to him at Calais ; who, having placed his prisoner under 
good guards, in a strong castle on the borders of North- 
umberland, set out, and, passing through England, came 
to Dover, where he embarked, and landed near Calais. 
When the King of England saw the squire, he took him 
by the hand, and said, " Ha ! welcome, my squire, who by 
his valor has captured my adversary the King of Scot- 
land." John Copeland, falling on one knee, replied, "If 
God, out of his great kindness, has given me the King of 
Scotland, and permitted me to conquer him in arms, no 
one ought to be jealous of it ; for God can, when he 
pleases, send his grace to a poor squire, as well as to a 
great lord. Sir, do not take it amiss if I did not sur- 
render him to the orders of my lady the queen ; for I 
hold my lands of you, and my oath is to you, not to her, 
except it be through choice." The king answered, "John, 
the loyal service you have done us, and our esteem for 
your valor, is so great, that it may well serve you as an 
excuse ; and shame fall upon all those that bear you any 
ill-will. You will now return home, and take your pris- 
oner the King of Scotland, and convey him to my wife ; 
and by way of remuneration I assign lands, as near your 
house as you can choose them, to the amount of five hun- 
dred pounds sterling a year, for you and your heirs ; and 
I retain you as a squire of my body and of my house- 

Froissart's Chronicles. 185 

hold." John Copeland left Calais the third day after his 
arrival, and returned to England. When he was come 
home he assembled his friends and neighbors, and, in 
company with them, took the King of Scots, and con- 
veyed him to York, where he presented him, in the name 
of the king, to the queen, and made such handsome ex- 
cuses that she was satisfied. 

When the queen had sufficiently provided for the de- 
fence of the city of York, the castle of Roxburgh, the 
city of Durham, and the town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 
as well as for all the borders, and had appointed the Lords 
Percy and Neville governors of Northumberland to take 
proper care of it, she set out from York, and returned to 
London. She ordered the King of Scots, the Earl of 
Murray, and the other prisoners, to be confined in the 
Tower of London ; and, having placed a sufficient guard 
over them, set out for Dover, where she embarked, and 
with a favorable wind arrived before Calais three days 
preceding the feast of All Saints. The king, upon her 
arrival, held a grand court, and ordered magnificent enter- 
tainments for all the lords who were there, but more 
especially for the ladies ; as the queen had brought a 
great many with her, who were glad to accompany her, 
in order to see fathers, brothers, and friends, that were 
engaged at this siege of Calais. 

1 86 Froissarfs Chronicles. 


The young Earl of Flanders is betrothed, through the Con- 
straint OF the Flemings, to the Daughter of the King of 
England. — He escapes to France in a Subtle Manner. 

THE siege of Calais lasted a long time, during which 
many gallant feats of arms and adventures hap- 
pened. But it is not possible for me to relate the fourth 
part of them ; for the King of France had posted so many 
men at arms in the fortresses, and on the borders of the 
counties of Guines, Artois, Boulogne, round to Calais, 
and had such numbers of Genoese, Normans, and others 
in vessels on the sea, that none of the English could 
venture abroad on horseback or on foot, to forage, with- 
out meeting some of these parties. There were frequent 
skirmishes near the gates and ditches of the town, which 
never ended without several being killed and wounded : 
sometimes one side gained the advantage, and sometimes 
the other. The King of England and his council studied 
night and day to invent new engines more effectually to 
annoy the town ; but the inhabitants were equally alert to 
destroy their effect, and exerted themselves so much that 
they suffered nothing from them. However, no pro- 
visions could be brought into the place but by stealth, 
and by the means of two mariners who were guides to 
such as adventured. One was named Marant, and the 
other Mestriel : both of them resided in Abbeville. By 
their means the town of Calais was frequently victualled, 
and by their boldness they were often in great danger, 
many times pursued and almost taken ; but they escaped. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 187 

and slew and wounded many of the English. The siege 
lasted all the winter. The king had a great desire to keep 
on good terms with the municipalities of Flanders, be- 
cause he thought that through them he should the more 
easily obtain his end. He made, therefore, frequent 
protestations of friendship to them, and gave them to 
understand, that, after he should have succeeded at Cal- 
ais, he would reconquer for them Lisle, Douay, and all 
their dependencies : so that the Flemings, believing in 
such promises, put themselves in motion about the time 
that the king was in Normandy, whence he came to Crecy 
and Calais ; and they laid siege to Bethune. They had 
chosen for their commander the Lord Oudart de Renty, 
who had been banished from France, and had closely be- 
sieged the town and much damaged it by their attacks. 
But there were within four knight§^ for the King of 
France, who well defended it : their names were Sir 
Geoffry de Chargny, the Lord Eustace de Ribeaumont, 
the Lord Baudoin d'Anequin, and Lord John de Landas. 
The town of Bethune was so well defended, that the 
Flemings conquered nothing : they returned, therefore, to 
Flanders, not having been more successful than before. 

When the King of England was come to Calais, he did 
not cease sending flattering messengers and promises to 
the municipalities of Flanders, to preserve their friend- 
ship, and lessen their opinion of the King of France, who 
was taking great pains to acquire their affections. The 
King of England would have gladly seen the Earl Lewis 
of Flanders, who at that time was but fifteen years old, 
married to his daughter Isabella, and set so many engines 
to work among the Flemings tliat they acceded to it ; 
which mightily rejoiced the king, for he imagined that 
by this marriage he would easily govern that country. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 

The Flemings also thought that this alliance would enable 
them more effectually to resist the French ; and that it 
would be more profitable to be connected with the King 
of England than with the King of France. Their young 
earl, however, who had been educated with the royal 
family of France, and who at the time was in that king- 
dom, would not agree to it, and declared frankly that he 
would never take to wife the daughter of him who had 
slain his father. On the other hand, Duke John of Bra- 
bant was very eagerly trying to make a match between 
the earl and his daughter, and promised to obtain for him 
the full enjoyment of Flanders, by fair or foul means. 
The duke also gave the King of France to understand, 
that, if the marriage took place, he would manage the 
Flemings, that they should attach themselves to him in 
preference to the King of England. Upon the strength 
of these promises, the King of France consented to the 
marriage of the Earl of Flanders with the Duke of Bra- 
bant's daughter. After the duke had obtained this con- 
sent, he sent messengers to all the principal citizens of 
the great towns in Flanders ; who colored the union with 
so many specious reasons, that the councils of the princi- 
pal towns sent to the earl, and informed him that if he 
would come to Flanders and follow their advice, they 
would be his true friends, and would give up to him all 
royalties, rights, and jurisdictions, in a greater degree 
than any earl had hitherto been possessed of. The earl 
was advised to go to Flanders, where he was joyfully 
received ; and the chief towns made him rich and hand- 
some presents. 

As soon as the King of England was informed of this, 
he sent the Earls of Northampton and Arundel, and Lord 
Reginald Cobham, into Flanders ; who managed matters 

Fi^oissarfs CJiroiiides. 189 

so well with the leading men in the place, and with the 
corporations, that they were more desirous their lord 
should marry a daughter of the King of England, than the 
daughter of the Duke of Brabant : they very affectionately 
entreated their lord so to do, and supported it by many 
strong and good arguments (which would be too tedious to 
detail here), insomuch that those of the Duke of Brabant'? 
party could say nothing to the contrary. The earl, how- 
ever, would not consent to it, notwithstanding their fail 
speeches and arguments ; but repeated his former declara 
tion, that he would never marry the daughter of him who> 
had killed his father, were he to have a moiety of thG 
kingdom of England for her dower. When the Flemings 
heard this, they said their lord was too much of a French- 
man, and very ill-advised ; and that he must not expect 
any good from them, since he would not listen to their 
counsels. They arrested him, and confined hitTi, — though 
not a close prisoner, — and told him he should never have 
his liberty until he would pay attention to their advice. 
They added, that if the late earl his father had not loved 
the French so much, but had listened to them, he would 
have been the greatest prince in Christendom, and would 
have recovered Lisle, Bethune, and Douay, and been alive 
at this day. 

While all this was passing, the King of England still 
held on the siege of Calais. He kept his court there at 
Christmas in a right royal manner; and in the ensuing 
Lent the Earl of Derby, the Earl of Pembroke, the Earl 
of Oxford, and many knights and squires who had crossed 
the sea with them, returned from Gascony. 

The Earl of Flanders was for a long time in danger from 
the Flemings, and, being a prisoner, was perfectly weary 
of it. He therefore made them understand that he wa.s 

igo Froissarfs C/iro7zicles. 

willing to follow their advice, for he could receive more 
advantages from them than from those in any other coun- 
try. These words pleased the Flemings much : they gave 
him his liberty, and allowed him to partake of one of his 
favorite amusements, hawking, of which he was very fond. 
It happened one day, in the same week that he was to 
espouse the English princess, he went out a-hawking : the 
falconer fled his hawk at a heron, and the earl did the 
same with his. The two hawks pursued their game, and 
the earl galloped off, as if following them, crying, " Hoye, 
hoye ! " When he was at some distance from his keepers, 
and in the open fields, he stuck spurs into his horse, and 
made such speed that he was soon out of sight. He did 
not stop until he was got into Artois, where he was safe. 
He then went to King Philip in France, and related to 
him and his nobles his adventures, who told him he had 
acted wisely; but the English, on the contrary, accused 
him of betraying and deceiving them. 


The King of England prevents the Approach of the French 
Army to raise the Siege of Calais, and the Town surrenders. 

THE King of England, who found he could not iion- 
quer Calais but by famine, ordered a large castle to 
be constructed of strong timbers, in order to shut up the 
communication with the sea ; and he directed it to be built 
and embattled in such a manner that it could not be 
destroyed. He placed it between the town and the sea, 
and fortified it with all sorts of warlike instruments, and 
garrisoned it with forty men at arms and two hundred 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 191 

archers, who guarded the harbor and port of Calais so 
closely that nothing could go out or come into the town 
without being sunk or taken. By this means he more 
sorely aggrieved the Calesians than by any thing he had 
hitherto done, and sooner brought famine among them. 

I will now relate what the King of England had done, 
and was doing, when he saw with what a prodigious force 
the King of France was come to raise the siege of Calais, 
which had cost him so much money and labor. He knew 
that the town was so nearly famished, that it could hold 
out but a very short time : therefore it would have sorely 
hurt him to have been forced at that time to raise it. He 
considered that the French could neither approach his 
army nor the town of Calais but by two roads, — the one 
by the downs along the seashore, the other higher up the 
country, which, however, was full of ditches and bogs ; 
and there was but one bridge, called the bridge of NieuUet, 
by which they could be crossed. He posted, therefore, his 
fleet along the shore, as near as he could to the downs, and 
provided it with plenty of every warlike engine, so that 
the French could not pass that way. He sent the Earl of 
Derby, with a sufficient force of men at arms and archers, 
to guard the bridge of Nieullet. The French therefore 
were prevented from advancing thither, unless they at- 
tempted crossing the marshes between Sangate and the 
sea, which were impassable. There was also, nearer to 
Calais, a high tower, which was guarded by thirty archers 
from England ; and they had fortified it with double 
ditches, as a stronger defence of the passage over the 
downs. When the French had taken up their quarters 
on the hill of Sangate, those from Tournay, who might 
amount to about fifteen hundred men, advanced toward 
this tower ; the garrison shot at them, and wounded some ; 

192 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

but the men of Tournay crossed the ditches, and reached 
the foot of the tower with pickaxes and bars. The en- 
gagement was then very sharp, and many of the Tournay 
men were killed and wounded ; but in the end the tower 
was taken and thrown down, and all that were within it 
put to the sword. 

The King of France sent his two marshals, the Lord of 
Beaujeu and the Lord of St. Venant, to examine the coun- 
try, and see where the army could pass, in order to fight 
with the English ; but, after they had well examined all 
the passes, they returned, and told the king there was not 
any possibility of doing it but with infinite loss of men. 
Things remained in this state that day and the following 
night ; but on the morrow, after the King of France had 
heard mass, he sent to the King of England the Lord 
Geoffry de Chargny, the Lord Eustace de Ribeaumont, 
Sir Guy de Nesle, and the Lord of Beaujeu, who, as they 
rode along, observed how strongly all the passes were 
guarded. They were allowed to proceed freely, for so the 
King of England had ordered, and praised very much 
the dispositions of the Earl of Derby, who was posted at 
the bridge of Nieullet, over which they passed. They rode 
on until they came where the king was, whom they found 
surrounded by his barons and knights. They all four dis- 
mounted, and advanced toward the king with many rever- 
ences ; then the Lord Eustace de Ribeaumont said, " Sir, 
the King of France informs you, through us, that he is 
come to the hill of Sangate in order to give you battle, 
but he cannot find any means of approaching you : he 
therefore wishes you would assemble your council, and he 
will send some of his, that they may confer together, and 
fix upon a spot where a general combat may take place." 
The King of Endand was advised to make his answer as 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 193 

follows : " Gentlemen, I perfectly understand the request 
you have made me from m}' adversary, who wrongfully 
keeps possession of my inheritance, which weighs much 
upon me. You will therefore tell him from me, if you 
please, that I have been on this spot near a twelvemonth ; 
this he was well informed of, and, had he chosen it, might 
have come here sooner; but he has allowed me to remain 
so long, that I have expended very large sums of money, 
and have done so much that I must be master of Calais 
in a very short time. I am not therefore inclined, in the 
smallest degree, to comply with his request, or to gratify 
his convenience, or to abandon what I have gained, or what 
I have been so anxious to conquer. If, therefore, neither 
he nor his army can pass this way, he must seek out some 
other road." The four noblemen then returned, and were 
escorted as far as the bridge of Nieullet, and related to the 
King of France the King of England's answer. 

The King of France, perceiving he could not in any 
way succeed, decamped on the morrow, and took the road 
to Amiens, where he disbanded all his troops, the men at 
arms as well as those sent from the different towns. 
When the Calesians saw them depart, it gave them great 
grief. Some of the English fell on their rear, and cap- 
tured horses, and wagons laden with wine and other 
things, as well as some prisoners ; all which they brought 
to their camp before Calais. 

After the departure of the King of France, with his 
army, from the hill of Sangate, the Calesians saw clearly 
that all hopes of succor were at an end ; which occasioned 
them so much sorrow and distress that the hardiest could 
scarcely support it. They entreated, therefore, most ear- 
ncstlv, the Lord John de Vienne, their governor, to mount 
upon the battlements, and make a sign that he wished to 

194 Froissart's Chronicles. 

hold a parley. The King of England, upon hearing this, 
sent to him Sir Walter Manny and Lord Basset. When 
they were come near, the Lord de Vienne said to them, 
"Dear gentlemen, you, who are very valiant knights, know 
that the King of France, whose subjects we are, has sent 
us hither to defend this town and castle from all harm and 
damage : this we have done to the best of our abilities. 
All hopes of help have now left us, so that we are most 
exceedingly straitened ; and, if the gallant king your lord 
have not pity upon us, we must perish with hunger. 
I therefore entreat that you would beg of him to have 
compassion on us, and to have the goodness to allow us 
to depart in the state we are in, and that he will be satis- 
fied with having possession of the town and castle, with 
all that is within them, as he will find therein riches 
enough to content him." To this Sir Walter Manny 
replied, "John, we are not ignorant of what the king our 
lord's intentions are, for he has told them to us. Know, 
then, that it is not his pleasure you should get off so ; for 
he is resolved that you surrender yourselves solely to his 
will, to allow those whom he pleases their ransom, or to 
put them to death ; for the Calesians have done him so 
much mischief, and have, by their obstinate defence, cost 
him so many lives and so much money, that he is mightily 
enraged." The Lord de Vienne answered, "These con- 
ditions are too hard for us. We are but a small number 
of knights and squires, who have loyally served our lord 
and master, as you would have done, and have suffered 
much ill and disquiet ; but we will endure more than any 
man ever did in a similar situation, before we consent that 
the smallest boy in the town should fare worse than the 
best. I therefore once more entreat you, out of compas- 
sion, to return to the King of England, and beg of him to 

Froissai^fs Chronicles. 195 

have pity on us : he will, I trust, grant you this favor ; for 
I have such an opinion of his gallantry as to hope that, 
through God's mercy, he will alter his mind." The two 
lords returned to the king, and related what had passed. 
The king said he had no intentions of complying with 
the request, but should insist that they surrendered them- 
selves unconditionally to his will. Sir Walter replie<l, 
" My lord, you may be to blame in this, as you will set 
us a very bad example ; for, if you order us to go to any 
of your castles, we shall not obey you so cheerfully, if 
you put these people to death ; for they will retaliate upon 
us in a similar case." Many barons who were then pres- 
ent supported this opinion. Upon which the king re- 
plied, " Gentlemen, I am not so obstinate as to hold my 
opinion alone against you all. Sir Walter, you will in- 
form the governor of Calais that the only grace he must 
expect from me is, that six of the principal citizens of 
Calais march out of the town, with bare heads and feet, 
with ropes around their necks, and the keys of the town 
and castle in their hands. These six persons shall be at 
my absolute disposal, and the remainder of the inhabitants 

Sir Walter returned to the Lord de Vienne, who was 
waiting for him on the battlements, and -told him all that 
he had been able to gain from the king. "I beg of you," 
replied the governor, "that you would be so good as to 
remain here a little, while I go and relate all that has 
passed to the townsmen ; for, as they have desired me to 
undertake this, it is but proper they should know the 
result of it." He went to the market-place, and caused 
the bell to be rung ; upon which all the inhabitants, men 
and women, assembled in the town-hall. He then related 
to them what he had said, and the answers he had re- 

196 Froissarfs Ckroiticles. 

ceived ; and that he could not obtain any conditions more 
favorable, to which they must give a short and immediate 
answer. This information caused the greatest lamenta- 
tions and despair, so that the hardest heart would have 
had compassion on them. Even the Lord de Vienne wept 

After a short time the most wealthy citizen of the town, 
by name Eustace de St. Pierre, rose up and said, "Gentle- 
men, both high and low, it would be a very great pity to 
suffer so many people to die through famine, if any means 
could be found to prevent it ; and it would be highly 
meritorious in the eyes of our Saviour, if such misery 
could be averted. I have such faith and trust in finding 
grace before God, if I die to save my townsmen, that I 
name myself as first of the six." When Eustace had done 
speaking, they all rose up and almost worshipped him : 
many cast themselves at his feet with tears and groans. 
Another citizen, very rich and respected, rose up, and said 
he would be the second to his companion Eustace ; his 
name was John Daire. After him, James Wisant, who 
was very rich in merchandise and lands, offered himself 
as companion to his two cousins ; as did Peter Wisant 
his brother. Two others then named themselves, which 
completed the number demanded by the King of England. 
The Lord John de Vienne then mounted a small hackney, 
for it was with difficulty that he could walk, and conducted 
them to the gate. There was the greatest sorrow and 
lamentation all over the town ; and in such manner were 
they attended to the gate, which the governor ordered to 
be opened, and then shut upon him and the six citizens, 
whom he led to the barriers, and said to Sir Walter 
Manny, who was there waiting for him, " I deliver up to 
you, as governor of Calais, with the consent of the inhabit- 

Froissart's Chronicles. 197 

ants, these six citizens ; and I swear to you that they 
were, and are at this day, the most wealthy and respectable 
inhabitants of Calais. I beg of you, gentle sir, that you 
would have the goodness to beseech the king that they 
may not be put to death." — "I cannot answer for what 
the king will do with them," replied Sir Walter; "but 
you may depend that I will do all in my power to save 
them." The barriers were opened, when these six citizens 
advanced toward the pavilion of the king, and the Lord 
de Vienne re-entered the town. 

When Sir Walter Manny had presented these six citi- 
zens to the king, they fell upon their knees, and with 
uplifted hands said, " Most gallant king, see before you 
six citizens of Calais, who have been capital merchants, 
and who bring you the keys of the castle and of the town. 
We surrender ourselves to your absolute will and pleasure, 
in order to save the remainder of the inhabitants of Calais, 
who have suffered much distress and misery. Conde- 
scend, therefore, out of your nobleness of mind, to have 
mercy and compassion upon us." All the barons, knights, 
and squires, that were assembled there in great numbers, 
wept at this sight. The king eyed them with angry looks 
(for he hated much the people of Calais, for the great 
losses he had formerly suffered from them at sea), and 
ordered their heads to be stricken off. All present en- 
treated the king, that he would be more merciful to them ; 
but he would not listen to them. Then Sir Walter Manny 
said, "Ah, gentle -king, let me beseech you to restrain 
your angerr You have the reputation of great nobleness 
of soul : do not therefore tarnish it by such an act as this, 
nor allow any one to speak in a disgraceful manner of 
you. In this instance all the world will say you have 
acted cruelly, if you put to death six such respectable per- 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 

sons, who, of their own free will, have surrendered them- 
selves to your mercy, in order to save their fellow-citizens." 
Upon this the king gave a wink, saying, " Be it so," and 
ordered the headsman to be sent for ; for that the Cale- 
sians had done him so much damage, it was proper they 
should suffer for it. The Queen of England fell on her 
knees, and with tears said, " Ah, gentle sir, since I have 
crossed the sea with great danger to see you, I have never 
asked you one favor : now I most humbly ask as a gift, 
for the sake of the Son of the blessed Mary, and for your 
love to me, that you will be merciful to these six men." 
The king looked at her for some time in silence, and then 
said, " Ah, lady, I wish that you had been anywhere else 
than here. You have entreated in such a manner that I 
cannot refuse you. I therefore give them to you, to do 
as you please with them." The queen conducted the six 
citizens to her apartments, and had the halters taken from 
round their necks, after which she new-clothed them, and 
served them with a plentiful dinner. She then presented 
each with six nobles, and had them escorted out of the 
camp in safety. 


The King of England re-peoples Calais. 

THE king, after he had presented these six citizens to 
the queen, called to him Sir Walter Manny, and his 
two marshals, — the Earls of Warwick and Stafford, — 
and said to them, " My lords, here are the keys of the 
town and castle of Calais : go and take possession of 
them. You will put into prison the knights you may find 

Froissart's Chronicles. 199 

there, but you will send out of the town all the other 
inhabitants, and all soldiers that may have come there to 
serve for pay ; as I am resolved to re-people the town with 
English alone." These three noblemen, with only one 
hundred men, went and took possession of Calais, and from 
the gates sent to prison the Lord John de Surie, the Lord 
John de Vienne, the Lord John de Bellebourne, and other 
knights. They then ordered every sort of arms to be 
brought, and piled in a heap in the market-place. They 
sent out of the town all ranks of people, retaining only 
one priest, and two other old men, that were well ac- 
quainted with the customs and usages of Calais, in order 
to point out the different properties ; and gave directions 
for the castle to be prepared for lodging the king and 
queen, and different hotels for their attendants. When 
this had been done, the king and queen mounted their 
steeds, and rode toward the town, which they entered at 
the sound of trumpets, drums, and all sorts of warlike 

The king gave to Sir Walter Manny, Lord Stafford, 
Lord Warwick, Sir Bartholomew Burghersh, and other 
knights, very handsome houses in Calais, that they might 
re-people it ; and his intentions were, to send thither, on 
his return to England, thirty-six substantial citizens, with 
all their wealth, and to exert himself in such a manner 
that the inhabitants of the town should be wholly Eng- 
lish : which he afterwards accomplished. The new town 
and fortifications, which had been built before Calais, were 
destroyed, as well as the castle upon the harbor ; and the 
great boom which was thrown across was brought into 
the town. The king posted different persons to guard the 
gates, walls, and towers of the town ; and what had been 
damaged he got repaired, which, however, was not soon 

200 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

done. The Lord John de Vienne and his companions 
were sent to England : they remained in London about 
half a year, and then were ransomed. In my opinion, it 
was a melancholy thing for the inhabitants of both sexes, 
of the town of Calais, thus to be sent abroad, with their 
children, from their inheritances, leaving every thing be- 
hind : for they were not allowed to carry off any of their 
furniture or wealth ; and they received no assistance from 
the King of France, for whom they had lost their all. 
They did, however, as well as they were able ; and the 
greater part went to St. Omer. 

The Cardinal Guy de Boulogne, who was come into 
France as ambassador, and was with his cousin King 
Philip in the city of Amiens, labored so earnestly, that 
he obtained a truce between the two kings and their 
adherents, which was to last for two years. 


A Robber of the Name of Bacon does much Mischief in Lan- 
GUEDoc, and a Page of the Name of Croquart turns Robber. 

ALL this year of the truce, the kings remained at 
peace. But Lord William Douglas, and the Scots, 
who had taken refuge in the forest of Jedworth, carried 
on the war against the English, wherever they could meet 
with them.' Those in Gascony, Poitou, and Saintonge, as 
well French as English, did not observe the truce any bet- 
ter, but conquered towns and castles from each other, by 
force or intrigue, and ruined and destroyed the country, 
day and night. There were frequently gallant deeds of 
arms performed, with alternate success. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 201 

Poor rogues took advantage of such times, and robbed 
both towns and castles ; so that some of them, becoming 
rich, constituted themselves captains of bands of thieves. 
There were among them those worth forty thousand 
crowns. Their method was, to mark out the particular 
towns or castles, a day or two's journey from each other: 
they then collected twenty or thirty robbers, and, travel- 
ling through by-roads in the night-time, entered the town 
or castle they had fixed on about daybreak, and set one of 
the houses on fire. When the inhabitants perceived it, 
they thought it had been a body of forces sent to destroy 
them, and took to their heels as fast as they could. The 
town of Donzere was treated in this manner ; and many 
other towns and castles were taken, and afterwards ran- 
somed. Among other robbers in Languedoc, one had 
marked out the strong castle of Cobournc in Limosin, 
which is situated in a very strong country. He set off in 
the night-time, with thirty companions, and took and de- 
stroyed it. He seized also the Lord of Cobourne, whom 
he imprisoned in his own castle, and put all his household 
to death. He kept him in prison until he ransomed him- 
self for twenty-four thousand crowns, paid down. The 
robber kept possession of the castle and dependencies, 
which he furnished with provisions, and thence made war 
upon all the country round about. The King of France, 
shortly afterwards, was desirous of having him near his 
person. He purchased the castle for twenty thousand 
crowns, appointed him his usher at arms, and heaped on 
him many other honors. The name of this robber was 
Bacon ; and he was always mounted on handsome horses, 
of a deep roan color, or on large palfreys, apparelled like 
an earl, and very richly armed ; and this state he main- 
tained as long as he lived. 

202 Froissarf s Chronicles. 

There were similar disorders in Brittany ; and robbers 
carried on the like methods of seizing and pillaging differ- 
ent towns and castles, and then selling them back again 
to the country at a dear rate ; by which means many of 
their leaders became very rich. Among others there was 
one of the name of Croquart, who was originally but a 
poor boy, and had been page to the Lord d'Ercle in Hol- 
land. When this Croquart arrived at manhood, he had 
his discharge, and went to the wars in Brittany, where he 
attached himself to a man at arms, and behaved very well. 
It happened, that in some skirmish his master was taken 
and slain ; when, in recompense for his prowess, his com- 
panions elected him their leader, in the place of his late 
master. He then made such profit by ransoms, and the 
taking of towns and castles, that he was said to be worth 
full forty thousand crowns, not including his horses, of 
which he had twenty or thirty, very handsome and strong, 
and of a deep roan color. He had the reputation of being 
the most expert man at arms of the country, was chosen 
to be one of the thirty that engaged against a similar num- 
ber, and was the most active combatant on the side of the 
English. King John of France made him the offer of 
knighting him, and marrying him very richly, if he would 
quit the English party, and promised to give him two 
thousand livres a year ; but Croquart would never listen to 
it. It chanced one day, as he was riding a young horse 
which he had just purchased for three hundred crowns, 
and was putting him to his full speed, that the horse ran 
away with him, and, in leaping a ditch, stumbled into it, 
and broke his master's neck. Such was the end of Cro- 

Froissart's Chronicles. 203 


Sir Aymery de Pavie plots with Sir Geoffry de Chargny to 
SELL the Town of Calais. 

AT this time Sir Geoffry de Chargny was stationed 
at St. Omer, to defend the frontier ; and in every 
thing touching war he acted as if he had been king. He 
bethought himself, that as Lombards are very poor, and 
by nature avaricious, he would attempt to recover the 
town of Calais by means of Aymery de Pavie the gov- 
ernor ; and as, from the terms of the truce, the inhabit- 
ants of the towns of St. Omer and Calais might go to 
each place to sell their different merchandises. Sir Geoffry 
entered into a secret treaty with Sir Aymery, and suc- 
ceeded so far that he promised to deliver up the town on 
receiving twenty thousand crowns. The King of Eng- 
land, however, got intelligence of it, and sent to Aymery 
the Lombard orders to cross the sea immediately, and 
come to him at Westminster. He obeyed ; for he could 
not imagine that the king knew of his treason, it had been 
so secretly carried on. When the king saw the Lombard, 
he took him aside, and said, "Thou knowest that I have 
intrusted to thee what I hold dearest in this world, exxept 
my wife and children : I mean the town and castle of 
Calais, which thou hast sold to the French, and for which 
thou deservest death." The Lombard flung himself on 
his knees, and said, "Ah, gentle king, have mercy on 
me, for God's sake! All that you have said is very true ; 
but there is yet time to break the bargain, for hitherto I 
have not received one penny." The king had brought up 

204 Froissart's Chronicles. 

this Lombard from a child, and mucli loved him : he re- 
plied, "Aymery, it is ray wish that you continue on this 
treaty : you will inform me of the day that you are to 
deliver up Calais, and on these conditions I promise you 
my pardon." The Lombard then returned to Calais, and 
kept every thing secret. In the mean time Sir Geoffry 
de Chargny thought himself sure of having Calais, and 
issued out privately his summons for five hundred lances. 
The greater part were ignorant where he intended to lead 
them, for it was only known to a few barons. I do not 
believe he had even informed the King of France of his 
plan, as he would have dissuaded him from it on account 
of the truce. The Lombard had consented to deliver up 
the town to him the last night of the year, with which 
he made the King of England acquainted by means of 
his brother. 


The Battle of Calais, between the King of England, under the 
Banner of Sir W^alter Manny, with Sir Geoffry de Chargny 
AND the French. 

WHEN the King of England was informed of this, 
and knew that the day was for a certainty fixed, he 
set out from England with three hundred men at arms 
and six hundred archers. He embarked at Dover, and 
came so privately to Calais, that no one knew of his being 
there. He placed his men in ambuscade in the rooms 
and towers of the castle, and said to Sir Walter Manny, 
" Sir Walter, I will that you be the chief of this enter- 
prise ; and I and my son will fight under your banner." 
Sir Geoffry de Chargny had left St. Omer the latter end 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 205 

of December, with all the forces he had collected ; and 
arrived near to Calais about midnight, the last day of the 
month. He halted there for his rear to come up, and sent 
forward two of his squires, who found Sir Aymery waiting 
for them. They asked if it were time for Sir Geoffry to 
advance : the Lombard answered that it was. The two 
squires upon this returned to Sir Geoffry, who marched 
his men in battle-array over the bridge of NieuUet. He 
then sent forward twelve of his knights, with one hun- 
dred men at arms, to take possession of the castle of 
Calais ; for he thought, if he had possession of the castle, 
he should soon be master of the town, considering what 
strength he had with him ; and in a few days time he 
could have as much more, should there be occasion. He 
gave orders for twenty thousand crowns to be delivered 
to Sir Odoart de Renty, who was in this expedition, for 
him to pay to the Lombard ; and Sir Geoffry remained 
in the plain in silence, his banner displayed before him, 
with the rest of his army ; for his intention was to enter 
the town by one of its gates, otherwise he would not 
enter it at all. 

The Lombard had let down the drawbridge of the cas- 
tle, and opened one of the gates, through which his de- 
tachment entered unmolested ; and Sir Odoart had given 
him the twenty thousand crowns in a bag, — who said 
he supposed they were all there, for he had not time 
to count them, as it would be day immediately. He 
flung the bag of crowns into a room, which he locked, 
and told the French he would conduct them to the great 
tower, that they might the sooner be masters of the 
castle : in saying this he advanced on, and, pushing back 
the bolt, the door flew o\-)c\-\. In this tower was the King 
of England with two hundred lances, who sallied forth, 

2o6 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

with swords and battle-axes in their hands, crying out, 
" Manny, Manny, to the rescue ! What ! do these French- 
men think to conquer the castle of Calais with such a 
handful of men ! " The French saw that no defence 
could save them, so they surrendered themselves prison- 
ers ; and scarcely any of them were wounded. They 
were made to enter this tower, whence the English had 
sallied, and there shut in. The English quitted the castle, 
and, forming themselves in array, mounted their horses 
(for they knew the French were mounted), and made for 
the gate leading to Boulogne. Sir Geoffry was there 
with his banner displayed (his arms were three escutch- 
eons argent on a field gules), and he was very impatient 
to be the first that should enter Calais. He said to those 
knights who were near him, that, if this Lombard de- 
layed opening the gate, they should all die with cold, 
"In God's name," replied Sir Pepin de Werre, "these 
Lombards are a malicious sort of people : perhaps he is 
examining your florins, lest there should be any false ones, 
and to see if they be right in number." During this con- 
versation the King of England and his son advanced, 
under the banner of Sir Walter Manny. There were 
many other banners also there, such as the Earl of 
Suffolk's, the Lord Stafford's, Lord John Montacute's 
(brother to the Earl of Salisbury), the Lord John Beau- 
champ's, the Lord Berkeley's, the Lord de la Waae. All 
these were barons having banners ; and no more than 
these were in this expedition. 

The great gates were soon opened, and they all sallied 
out. When the French saw this, and heard the cries of 
" Manny to the rescue ! " they found they had been be- 
trayed ; and Sir Geoffry said to those around them, 
" Gentlemen, if we fly, we shall lose all : it will be more 

Froissart's Chrofticles. 207 

advantageous for us to fight valiantly, in the hopes that 
the day may be ours." — "By St. George," said some of 
the English, who were near enough to hear it, " you speak 
truth : evil befall him who thinks of flying!" They then 
retreated a little, and dismounted, driving their horses 
away, to avoid being trampled on. When the King of 
England saw this, he halted the banner under which he 
was, and said, " I would have the men drawn up here in 
order of battle ; and let a good detachment be sent to- 
ward the bridge of Nieullet, for I have heard that there 
is posted a large body of French on horseback and on 
foot." Six banners and three hundred archers left his 
army, and made for the bridge of Nieullet, where they 
found the Lord Moreau de Fiennes, and the Lord of 
Crequi, who guarded it. There were also posted, between 
the bridge and Calais, the crossbow-men from St. Omer 
and Aire, who had that day sharp work. More than six 
hundred were slain or drowned ; for they were immedi- 
ately discomfited, and pursued to the river. It was then 
scarcely daybreak. The knights of Picardy maintained 
this post some time, and many gallant actions were per- 
formed ; but the English kept increasing from the town, 
when, on the contrary, the French fell off : so that, when 
they found they could not longer keep the bridge, those 
that had horses mounted them, and betook themselves to 
flight. The English immediately pursued them, and many 
were overthrown : but those that were well mounted 
escaped ; among them were the Lords de Ficnncs, de 
Crequi, de Sempy, de Lonchinleich, and the Lord of 
Namur. Many were taken through their own hardiness, 
who might otherwise have saved themselves. When it 
was broad daylight, that each could see the other, some 
knights and squires collected themselves together, and 

2o8 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

vigorously attacked the English, insomuch that several of 
the French made good prisoners, that brought them much 

We will now speak of the King of England, who was 
there incognito under Sir Walter Manny's banner. He 
advanced with his men on foot, to meet the enemy, who 
were formed in close order, with their pikes, shortened to 
five feet, planted out before them. The first attack was 
very sharp and severe. The king singled out Sir Eus- 
tace de Ribeaumont, who was a strong and hardy knight. 
He fought a long time marvellously well with the king, so 
that it was a pleasure to see them : but by the confusion 
of the engagement they were separated ; for two large 
bodies met where they were fighting, and forced them to 
break off their combat. On the side of the French there 
was excellent fighting by Sir Geoff ry de Chargny, Sir 
John de Landas, Sir Hector and Sir Gavin Ballieul, and 
others ; but they were all surpassed by Sir Eustace de 
Ribeaumont, who that day struck the king twice down 
on his knees : at last, however, he was obliged to sur- 
render his sword to the king, saying, " Sir knight, I 
surrender myself your prisoner, for the honor of the day 
must fall to the English." All that belonged to Sir 
Geoffry de Chargny were either slain or captured : among 
the first were Sir Henry du Bois and Sir Pepin de Werre : 
Sir Geoffry and the rest were taken prisoners. The last 
that was taken, and who in that day excelled all, was 
Sir Eustace de Ribeaumont. This business was finished 
under the walls of Calais, the last day of December, 
toward morning, in the year of grace 1348. 

Froissart's Chronicles. 209 


The King of England presents a Ciiaplet of Pearls to Sir 
Eustace de Rieeaumont. 

WHEN the engagement was over, the king returned 
to the castle in Calais, and ordered all the prisoners 
to be brought before him. The French then knew for the 
first time that the King of England had been there in per- 
son, under the banner of Sir Walter Manny. The king 
said he would, this evening of the new year, entertain 
them all at supper in the castle. When the hour for sup- 
per was come, the tables spread, and the king and his 
knights dressed in new robes, as well as the French, — 
who, notwithstanding they were prisoners, made good 
cheer, for the king wished it should be so, — the king 
seated himself at table, and made those knights do the 
same around him in a most honorable manner. The gal- 
lant Prince of Wales, and the knights of England, served 
up the first course, and waited on their guests. At the 
second course they went and seated themselves at another 
table, where they were served and attended on very quietly. 
When supper was over, and the tables removed, the 
king remained in the hall, among the English and French 
knights, bareheaded, except a chaplet of fine pearls which 
was round his head. He conversed with all of them ; but 
when he came to Sir Geoffry dc Chargny his countenance 
altered, and, looking at him askance, he said, "Sir Geoffry, 
I have but little reason to love you, when you wislied to 
seize from me by stealth, last night, what had given mc so 
much trouble to acquire, and has cost me such sums of 

2IO Froissart' s Chronicles. 

money, I am, however, rejoiced to have caught you thus 
in attempting it. You were desirous of gaining it cheaper 
than I did, and thought you could purchase it for twenty 
thousand crowns ; but, through God's assistance, you have 
been disappointed." He then passed on, and left Sir 
Geoffry standing, without having a word to say for himself. 
When he came to Sir Eustace de Ribeaumont, he assumed 
a cheerful look, and said with a smile, "Sir Eustace, you 
are the most valiant knight in Christendom, that I ever 
saw attack his enemy, or defend himself. I never yet 
found any one in battle, who, body to body, had given me 
so much to do as you have done this day. I adjudge to 
you the prize of valor above all the knights of my court, 
as what is justly due to you." The king then took off 
the chaplet, which was very rich and handsome, and, pla- 
cing it on the head of Sir Eustace, said, " Sir Eustace, I 
present you with this chaplet, as being the best combatant 
this day, either within or without doors ; and I beg of you 
to wear it this year for love of me. I know that you are 
lively and amorous, and love the company of ladies and 
damsels: therefore say, wherever you go, that I gave it 
to you. I also give you your liberty, free of ransom ; and 
you may set out to-morrow, if you please, and go whither 
you will." 


The Sea-Fight off Sluys. (From the Manuscript in the Hafod 

ABOUT this period there was much ill-will between 
the King of England and the Spaniards, on account 
of some infractions and pillages committed at sea by the 

Fro is sari 's C J iron ides. 2 1^ I 

latter. It happened at this season, that the Spaniards 
who had been in Flanders with their merchandise were 
informed they would not be able to return home without 
meeting the EngHsh fleet. The Spaniards did not pay 
much attention to this intelligence : however, after they 
had disposed of their goods, they amply provided their 
ships from Sluys with arms and artillery, and all such 
archers, crossbow-men, and soldiers as were willing to 
receive pay. The King of England hated these Spaniards 
greatly, and said publicly, "We have for a long time 
spared these people, for which they have done us much 
harm, without amending their conduct : on the contrary, 
they grow more arrogant ; for which reason they must be 
chastised as they repass our coasts." -His lords readily 
assented to this proposal, and were eager to engage the 
Spaniards. The king therefore issued a special summons 
to all gentlemen who at that time might be in England, 
and left London. He went to the coast of Sussex, be- 
tween Southampton and Dover, which lies opposite to 
Ponthieu and Dieppe, and kept his court in a monastery, 
whither the queen also' came. At this time and place 
that gallant knight Lord Robert de Namur, who was 
lately returned from beyond sea, joined the king: he came 
just in time to be one of this armament, and the king was 
exceedingly pleased at his arrival. On finding that he 
was not too late to meet the Spaniards on their return, the 
king, with his nobles and knights, embarked on board his 
fleet ; and he was never attended by so numerous a com- 
pany in any of his former expeditions at sea. 

When the Spaniards had completed their cargoes, and 
laden their vessels with linen cloths, and whatever they 
imagined would be profitable in their own country, they 
embarked on board their fleet at Sluys. They knew 

212 Froissarfs Chronicles, 

they should meet the EngHsh, but were indifferent about 
it ; for they had marvellously provided themselves v^^ith all 
sorts of warlike ammunition, such as bolts for crossbows, 
cannon, and bars of forged iron to throw on the enemy, 
in hopes, with the assistance of great stones, to sink him. 
When they weighed anchor, the wind was favorable for 
them : there were forty large vessels of such a size, and so 
beautiful, it was a fine sight to see them under sail. Near 
the top of their masts were small castles, full of flints and 
stones, and a soldier to guard them ; and there also was 
the flagstaff, from whence fluttered their streamers in the 
wind, that it was pleasant to look at them. If the English 
had a great desire to meet them, it seemed as if the Span- 
iards were still more eager for it, as will hereafter appear. 
The Spaniards were full ten thousand men, including all 
sorts of soldiers they had enlisted when in Flanders : this 
made them feel sufficient courage not to fear the combat 
with the King of England, and whatever force he might 
have at sea. Intending to engage the English fleet, they 
advanced with a favorable wind until they came opposite 
to Calais. The King of England, being at sea, had very 
distinctly explained to all his knights the order of battle 
he would have them follow. He had appointed the Lord 
Robert de Namur to the command of a ship called " Le 
Salle du Roi," on board of which was all his household. 
The king posted himself in the forepart of his own ship. 
He was dressed in a black velvet jacket, and wore on his 
head a small hat of beaver, which became him much. He 
was that day, as I was told by those who were present, as 
joyous as he ever was in his life, and ordered his minstrels 
to play before him a German dance which Sir John Chan- 
dos had lately introduced. For his am.usement he made 
the same knight sing with his minstrels, which delighted 

FroissarVs Chronicles. 213 

him greatly. From time to time lie looked up to the cas- 
tle on his mast, where he had placed a watch to inform 
him when the Spaniards were in sight. While the king was 
thus amusing himself with his knights, who were happy 
in seeing him so gay, the watch, who had observed a fleet, 
cried out, " Ho ! I spy a ship ; and it appears to me to 
be a Spaniard." The minstrels were silenced, and he was 
asked if there were more than one; soon after he replied, 
" Yes : I see t-.vo, three, four, and so many, that, God 
help me, I cannot count them." The king and his knights 
then knew they must be the Spaniards. The trumpets 
were ordered to sound, and the ships to form a line of 
battle for the combat ; as they were aware, that, since the 
enemy came in such force, it could not be avoided. It 
was, however, rather late, about the hour of vespers. The 
king ordered wine to be brought, which he and his knights 
drank; when each fixed their helmets on their heads. 
The Spaniards now drew near. They might easily have 
refused the battle, if they had chosen it ; for they were well 
freighted, in large ships, and had the wind in their favor. 
They could have avoided speaking with the English, if 
they had willed ; but their pride and presumption made 
them act otherwise. They disdained to sail by, but bore 
instantly down on them, and commenced the battle. 

When the King of England saw from his ship their 
order of battle, he ordered the person who managed liis 
vessel, saying, "Lay me alongside the Spaniard who is 
bearing down on us ; for I will have a tilt with him." 
The master dared not disobey the king's order, but laid 
his ship ready for the Spaniard, who was coming full 
sail. The king's ship was large and stiff : otherwise she 
would have been sunk, for that of the enemy was a great 
one, and the shock of their mcetine: was more like the 

214 Fi^oissart' s Chronicles. 

crash of a torrent or tempest. The rebound caused the 
castle in the. king's ship to encounter that of the Span- 
iard, so that the mast of the latter was broken, and all 
in the castle fell with it into the sea, when they were 
drowned. The English vessel, however, suffered, and let 
in water ; which the knights cleared, and stopped the leak, 
without telling the king any thing of the matter. Upon 
examining the vessel he had engaged lying before him, he 
said, " Grapple my ship with that ; for I will have posses- 
sion of her." His knights replied, "Let her go her way: 
you shall have better than her," That vessel sailed on ; 
and another large ship bore down, and grappled with 
chains and hooks to that of the king. The fight now 
began in earnest, and the archers and crossbows on each 
side were eager to shoot and defend themselves. The 
battle was not in one place, but in ten or twelve at a 
time. Whenever either party found themselves equal to 
the enemy, or superior, they instantly grappled, when 
grand deeds of arms were performed. The English had 
not any advantage ; and the Spanish ships were much 
larger and higher than their opponents, which gave them 
a great superiority in shooting and casting stones and 
iron bars on board their enemy, which annoyed them 
exceedingly. The knights on board the king's ship were 
in danger of sinking, for the leak still admitted water : 
this made them more eager to conquer the vessel they 
were grappled to. Many, gallant deeds were done ; and at 
last they gained the ship, and flung all they found in it 
overboard, having quitted their own ship. They continued 
the combat against the Spaniards, who fought valiantly, 
and whose crossbow-men shot such bolts of iron as greatly 
distressed the English. 

This sea-fight between the English and Spaniards was 

Froissart's Cliroiiicles. 215 

well and hardly fought ; but, as night was coming on, the 
English exerted themselves to do their duty well, and dis- 
comfit their enemies. The Spaniards, who are used to 
the sea, and were in large ships, acquitted themselves to 
the utmost of their power. The young Prince of Wales 
and his division w^ere engaged apart: his ship was grap- 
pled by a great Spaniard, when he and his knights 
suffered much; for she had so many holes, that the water 
came in very abundantly, and they could not by any 
means stop the leaks, which gave the crew fears of her 
sinking. They therefore did all they could to conquer 
the enemy's ship, but in vain ; for she was very large, 
and excellently well defended. During this danger of 
the prince, the Duke of Lancaster came near, and, as 
he approached, saw he had the worst of the engagement, 
and that his crew had too much on their hands, for they 
were bailing out water : he therefore fell on the other 
side of the Spanish vessel, with which he grajipled, shout- 
ing, " Derby to the rescue ! " The engagement was now 
very warm, but did not last long, for the ship was taken, 
and all the crew thrown overboard, not one being saved. 
The prince, with his men, instantly embarked on board 
the Spaniard ; and scarcely had they done so w'hen his 
own vessel sunk, which convinced them of the imminent 
danger they had been in. 

The engagement was in other parts well contested by 
the English knights, who exerted themselves ; and need 
there was of it, for they found those who feared them not. 
Late in the evening, the "Salle du Roi," commanded by 
Lord Robert de Namur, was grappled by a large Span- 
iard, and the fight was very severe. The Spaniards were 
determined to gain this ship ; and, the more effectually 
to succeed in carrying her off, they set all their sails, took 

2i6 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

advantage of the wind, and, in spite of what Lord Robert 
and his crew could do, towed her out of the battle ; for 
the Spaniard was of a more considerable size than the 
Lord Robert's ship, and therefore she more easily con- 
quered. As they were thus towed, they passed near the 
king's ship, to whom they cried out, " Rescue the * Salle 
du Roi,' " but were not heard, for it was dark ; and, if 
they were heard, they were not rescued. The Spaniards 
would have carried away with ease this prize, if it had not 
been for a gallant act of one Hanequin, a servant to the 
Lord Robert, who, with his drawn sword on his wrist, 
leaped on board the enemy, ran to the mast, and cut the 
large cable which held the mainsail, by which it became 
unmanageable ; and with great agility he cut other four 
principal ropes, so that the sails fell on the deck, and the 
course of the ship was stopped. Lord Robert, seeing this, 
advanced with his men, and, boarding the Spaniard sword 
in hand, attacked the crew so vigorously that all were 
slain or thrown overboard, and the vessel won. 

I cannot speak of every particular circumstance of this 
engagement. It lasted a considerable time ; and the 
Spaniards gave the King of England and his fleet enough 
to do. However, at last victory declared for the English : 
the Spaniards lost fourteen ships, the others saved them- 
selves by flight. When it was completely over, and the 
king saw he had none to fight with, he ordered his 
trumpets to sound a retreat, and made for England, 
They anchored at Rye and Winchelsea a little after 
nightfall, when the king, the Prince of Wales, the Duke 
of Lancaster, the Earl of Richmond, and other barons, 
disembarked, took horses in the town, and rode to the 
mansion where the queen was, scarcely two English 
leagues distant. The queen was mightily rejoiced on 

Froissart's Chronicles. 217 

seeing her ^ord and children. She had suffered that day 
great affliction from her doubts of success ; for her at- 
tendants had seen from the hills of the coast the whole 
of the battle, as the weather was fine and clear, and had 
told the queen, who was very anxious to learn the number 
of the enemy, that the Spaniards had forty large ships. 
She was therefore much comforted by their safe return. 
The king, with those knights who had attended him, 
passed the night in revelry with the ladies, conversing of 
arms and amours. On the morrow the greater part of his 
barons who had been in this engagement came to him. 
He greatly thanked them for all the services they had 
done him, before he dismissed them ; when they took 
their leave, and returned every man to his home. 


The Death of Iving Philip, and Coronation of his Son King John. 

IN the beginning of August, in the year 1350, Raoul 
de Cahours, and many other knights and squires, to 
the number of one hundred and twenty men at arms, or 
thereabouts, combated with the commander for the King 
of England in Brittany, called Sir Thomas Daggeworth, 
before the castle of Aurai. Sir Thomas and all his men 
were slain, to the amount of about a hundred men at arms. 
On the 22d of August in the same year, King Philip of 
France departed this life at Nogent-le-Roi, and was carried 
to Notre Dame in Paris. The twenty-sixth day of Sep- 
tember ensuing, John, eldest son of King Philip, was 
crowned king, on a Sunday, at Rheims. His wife. Queen 
Jane, was also crowned at the same time. 

Froissart's Chronicles. 


The King of France issues out a Summons for assembling an 
Army to combat the Prince of Wales, who was overrunning 
THE Province of Derby. 

WHEN King John of France had re-conquered all 
the towns and castles in Lower Normandy, which 
belonged to the King of Navarre, whom he detained in 
prison, he returned to the city of Paris. He had not been 
long there before he heard that the Prince of Wales, with 
his whole army, had invaded his kingdom,"* and was ad- 
vancing toward the fertile country of Berry. When this 
was told him, the king said, with an oath, that he would 
immediately set out after him, and give him battle 
wherever he should find him. He issued out a special 
summons to all nobles and others who held fiefs under 
him, that they should not, under any pretence whatever, 
absent themselves without incurring his highest displeas- 
ure, but, immediately on the receipt of these letters, set 
out to meet him on the borders of Touraine and Blois ; 
for he was determined to fight the English. The king, to 
hasten the business, marched from Paris, — for he had at 
this time a large body of men at arms in the field, — and 
went to Chartres, to gain more certain intelligence of the 
enemy. He remained there some time ; and great crowds 
of troops and men at arms came to him from the different 
countries of Auvergne, Berry, Burgundy, Lorraine, Hai- 

* The narrative has advanced five years since the last chapter. King 
John keeps his oath : he " sets out after " the prince, and in a short time 
brings on the great battle of Poitiers. — Ed. 

Froissart's Chronicles. 219 

nault, Vermandois, Picardy, Brittany, and Normand)-. 
They passed through the town on their arrival, to show 
their musters, and took up their quarters in the fields, 
according to the orders of the two marshals, the Lord 
John de Clermont and Lord Arnold d'Andreghen. The 
king gave orders for all the towns in Anjou, Poitou, Maine, 
and Touraine, to be well garrisoned, and provided with all 
things, — especially those on the borders, by which it was 
hoped the English would pass, — that they might be en- 
closed, and cut off from any subsistence for themselves 
and horses. In spite of this, however, the prince, who 
had with him two thousand men at arms and six thousand 
archers, rode "on at his ease, and collected everywhere 
provisions in plenty. They found the country of Au- 
vergne, which they had entered and overrun, very rich, 
and all things in great abundance ; but they would not 
stop there, as they were desirous of combating their 

They marched toward Romorantin. The King of 
France sent into Berry three gallant barons, — the Lord 
of Craon, the Lord of Boucicault, and the Hermit of 
Chaumont, — to defend the frontiers, and to observe the 
motions of the English. They had with them three hun- 
dred lances ; and, skirting the borders of the province, 
they followed them for six days, without finding any 
opportunity of intercepting or of attacking the enemy : 
such good and close order did the English maintain on 
their march. The French therefore had recourse to an 
ambuscade, near to Romorantin, in a wonderfully narrow 
spot which the English were obliged to pass. That same 
day there left the prince's army, from the battalion of the 
marshals, by permission of the prince, the Lord Barthol- 
omew Burghersh, the Lord of Muyssidan, a Gascon, the 

220 • FroissarVs CJironicles. 

Lord Petiton Courton, the Lord Delawar, the Lord Bas- 
set, Sir Walter Pavely, Sir Richard Pontchardan, Sir Nesle 
Loring, the young Lord Despencer, Sir Eustace and Sir 
Sanchez d'Ambreticourt, with about two hundred combat- 
ants, in order to push forward to Romorantin. They 
passed through the ambuscade of the French without 
molestation ; but, the moment they were clear of it, the 
French, who were mounted on excellent and well-dressed 
horses, stuck spurs into them to overtake them. The 
English, who had got far forward, hearing the sound of 
horses' feet, turned round, and found it was the enemy. 
They immediately halted, to wait for the French, who 
advanced on a gallop, fully determined what to do, with 
their lances in their rests. The English, seeing them thus 
charge full speed, opened on each side, and let them pass 
through, so that no more than five or six were unhorsed. 
They then closed their ranks, and fell upon the rear of the 
French. This engagement was very sharp : many knights 
and squires were unhorsed, raised up again, and rescued 
on both sides. It lasted a long time, and no one could 
tell, so valiantly was it disputed, to which side victory 
would incline, when the battalion of the marshals appeared 
in sight. The French first noticed it, as it marched, skirt- 
ing along a wood, and immediately thought of saving them- 
selves as fast as they could, taking the road to Romoran- 
tin. The English followed on full gallop, overthrowing 
all they could, without sparing themselves or their horses. 
The slaughter was great, .and many were killed and un- 
horsed. One-half of them, however, got safe into the 
castle of Romorantin, whose gates were opened to receive 
them. There the three barons saved themselves, as well 
as some knights and squires who were the best mounted. 
The town of Romorantin was taken on the first arrival of 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 

the English, for it was not fortified. The remainder of 
the French endeavored to escape by getting into the 


The Prince of Wales takes the Castle of Romorantin. 

WHEN the Prince of Wales was informed that his 
people had been engaged, he hastened the march 
of his army toward Romorantin, and, when he entered the 
town, found it full of men, who were studying how they 
could take the castle. The prince called Sir John Chan- 
dos, and ordered him to go and hold a parley with those in 
the castle. Sir John went to the barriers, and made a sign 
that he wished to speak with some one: those upon guard 
inquired his name, by whom he was sent, and then went 
to inform their masters ; upon which the Lord of Bouci- 
cault and the Hermit of Chaumont came down to the bars. 
When Sir John saw them, he saluted them, and said, 
" Gentlemen, I am sent to you by my lord the prince, who 
wishes, as it appears to me, to behave courteously toward 
his enemies ; and thus says, that, if you will surrender the 
castle and yourselves, he will show you mercy, and give 
you good company." The Lord of Boucicault replied, 
" We have no sort of inclination to accept of such terms, 
nor to commit such an act of folly without any necessity ; 
for we are determined to defend ourselves." Upon this 
they parted ; and the prince ordered his men to quarters, 
for the next day he meant to attack the castle. They were 
therefore commodiously lodged in the town of Romo- 
rantin, and close about it. 

222 Froissart's Chronicles. 

On the next morning the men at arms prepared them- 
selves ; and the archers advanced under their respective 
banners, and made a sharp attack upon the castle. The 
archers, who had posted themselves on the ditches, shot 
so justly, that scarcely any one dared to show himself on 
the battlements. Some got upon hurdles and doors, with 
pickaxes and mattocks in their hands, and swam over the 
ditch, when they began to undermine the walls. Those 
within flung down upon them large stones and pots of 
hot lime. On this occasion there was slain, on the part 
of the English, a squire called Remond de Gederlach, 
who belonged to the division of the Captal de Buch. 
The attack lasted the whole day, with little intermission. 
The English retreated, toward night, to their quarters, in 
order to take care of the wounded ; and on the morrow at 
sunrise the marshals' trumpets sounded. All who were 
ordered for this assault got themselves in readiness : the 
Prince of Wales himself attended in person, and by his 
presence mightily encouraged the English. A squire, of 
the name of Bernard, was killed close at his side, by a 
stone thrown from the castle ; upon which the prince 
swore he would never move from that place until he had 
the castle and all in it in his power, and immediately 
ordered re-enforcements to the assault. 

Some of the wisest thought that they might use lances 
and arrows forever in vain ; and therefore they ordered 
cannons to be brought forward, to throw aquereaux and 
Greek fire * into the lower court of the castle, so that it 
was all in a blaze. The fire increased so much, that it 

* Some say it was composed of sulphur, naphtha, pitch, gum, and bitu- 
men ; others, that the ingredients are not now known. It was invented by 
Callinicus of Heliopolis, in the seventh century, to destroy the ships of the 
Saracens. — Ed. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 

gained a krge tower which was covered with thatch. 
When those within the castle found that they must either 
surrender themselves, or perish by fire, the Lord of Craon, 
the Lord of Boucicault, and the Hermit of Chaumont, 
came down from the castle, and surrendered themselves 
to the prince, who made them ride and attend him, as his 
prisoners. Many other knights and squires who were in 
the castle were set at liberty, and the castle was destroyed. 


The King of France leads a great Army to the Battle of 

AFTER the taking of the castle of Romorantin, and 
the above-mentioned knights, the prince and his 
army marched forward as before, burning and destroying 
the country, in his approach to Anjou and Touraine. 
The King of France, who had resided at Chartres, set out 
from that place, and came to Blois, where he remained 
two days. He then came to Amboise, and then to 
Loches, where he heard that the English were in Tou- 
raine, taking the road for their return through Poitou ; for 
the English army was constantly observed by some able 
and expert knights of France and Burgundy, who sent 
the king 2:)articular information of its movements. The 
King of France then advanced to La Haye, in Touraine. 
His army had crossed the Loire by the bridges of Orleans, 
Mehun, Samur, Blois, and Tours, and wherever else they 
could. There were such numbers of good and able men, 
that they were at least twenty thousand men at arms, 
without reckoning the others : there were twenty-five 

2 24 Froissai'Cs Chronicles. 

dukes and earls, and upward of sixscore banners. The 
four young sons of the king were also with him, — 
Charles, Duke of Normandy ; the Lord Lewis, who was 
afterwards Duke of Anjou; the Lord John, since Duke of 
Berry ; and the Lord Philip, the younger, who was after- 
wards Duke of Burgundy. 

On the other hand, the Prince of Wales and his army 
were ignorant of the exact motions of the French ; but 
they supposed they were not far distant, for their foragers 
found great difificulties in procuring forage, of which the 
whole army was in extreme want. They repented of the 
great waste they had made in Berry, Anjou, and Tou- 
raine, and that they had not more amply provisioned 

It happened on this Friday, from the King of France 
in person passing the bridge of Chauvigny, and the great 
crowds which attended him, that three great barons of 
France, the Lord of Auxerre, the Lord Raoul de Joigny, 
and the Earl of Joigny, were obliged to remain all that 
day in the town of Chauvigny, and a part of their people 
with them : the others passed over without baggage or 
armor except what they had on their backs. On the 
Saturday morning they dislodged, crossed the bridge, and 
followed the army of the king, which was about three 
leagues off. They made for the open fields and the 
heaths, which were surrounded by woods, in order to 
arrive at Poitiers. This same Saturday the prince de- 
camped from a village hard by, and sent forward a 
detachment to seek adventures, and to bring some intel- 
ligence of the French. They consisted of about sixty 
men, well armed and mounted for the occasion. Among 
the knights were Sir Eustace d'Ambreticourt and Sir 
John de Guistelles. By accident they got on the heaths 

Froissart's Chrojiicles. 

surrounded by the woods above mentioned. The French 
soon saw they were enemies : they fixed on their helmets, 
and unfurled their banners as quickly as they were able ; 
when, fixing their lances in their rests, they stuck spurs 
to their horses. 

The English no sooner perceived these Frenchmen, 
who were about two hundred lances, than they allowed 
themselves to be pursued, as the prince and his army 
were not far distant ; they therefore wheeled about, and 
made for the rutty road through the wood. The French 
chased them with shouts and a great noise, and, as they 
galloped on, fell in with the army of the prince, which 
had halted among the heaths to wait for their companions. 
The Lord Raoul de Joigny, and those under his banner, 
were advanced so far that they came right upon the 
banner of the jorince. The engagement was very sharp, 
and Sir Raoul fought well : however, he was made pris- 
oner, as were the Earl of Joigny, the Viscount de Breuse, 
and the Lord of Chauvigny : the greater part were either 
slain or captured. By these the prince learnt that the 
King of France had marched forward, and that he could 
not return without fighting him. Upon which he col- 
lected all the stragglers, and ordered that no one, under 
pain of death, should advance or skirmish before the 
battalion of the marshals. They marched on this Satur- 
dav, from about nine o'clock until vespers, when they 
came within small leagues of Poitiers. The Captal de 
Buch, Sir Haymenon de Pomiers, Sir Bartholomew Bur- 
ghersh, and Sir Eustace d'Ambreticourt were ordered to 
advance, and observe Vvdiere the French were encamped. 
These knights, with two hundred men well armed and 
mounted on their best steeds, set out, and soon perceived 
the French king's army. All the plain was covered with 

226 Froissart's Chronicles. 

men at arms, and these English could not refrain from 
attacking the rear of the French : they unhorsed many, 
and took some prisoners, insomuch that the main army 
began to be in motion. News was brought of this to the 
King of France, as he was on the point of entering the 
city of Poitiers : upon which he turned back, and ordered 
his whole army to do the same, and make for the open 
fields, so that it was very late before they were quartered. 
The English detachment returned to the prince, and 
related to him the appearance of the French, that they 
were in immense numbers. The prince, on hearing this, 
said, " God help us ! we must now consider which will be 
the best manner to fight them the most advantageously." 
This night the English were quartered in a very strong 
position, among vineyards and hedges ; and both armies 
were well guarded. 


The Disposition of the French before the Battle of Poitiers. 

ON the Sunday morning, the King of France, who was 
very impatient to combat the English, ordered a 
solemn mass to be sung in his pavilion ; and he and his 
four sons received the communion. Mass being over, 
there came to him the Duke of Orleans, the Duke of 
Bourbon, the Earl of Ponthieu, the Lord James de Bour- 
bon, the Duke of Athens, constable of France, the Earl of 
Tancarville, the Earl of Saltzburg, the Earl of Dammartin, 
the Earl of Ventadour, and many barons of France, as 
well as other great lords who held fiefs in the neighbor- 

Froissart ^ s CJirou ides. 227 

hood, such as my Lord of Clermont, Sir Arnold d'An- 
dreghen, marshal of France, the Lord de St. Venant, the 
Lord John de Landas, the Lord Eustace de Ribeaumont, 
the Lord de Fiennes, the Lord Geoffry de Chargny, the 
Lord of Chatillon, the Lord of Sully, the Lord of Nesle, 
Sir Robert de Duras, and many more, according to a 
summons they had received for a council. They were a 
considerable time debating : at last it was ordered, that 
the whole army should advance into the plain, and each 
lord should display his banner, and push forward in the 
name of God and St. Denis. Upon this the trumpets of 
the army sounded, and every one got himself ready, 
mounted his horse, and made for that part of the plain 
where the king's banner was planted and fluttering in the 
wind. There might be seen all the nobility of France, 
richly dressed out in brilliant armor, with banners and 
pennons gallantly displayed ; for all the flower of the 
French nobility were there : no knight nor squire, for fear 
of dishonor, dared to remain at home. By the advice of 
the constable and the marshals, the army was divided into 
three battalions, each consisting of sixteen thousand men 
at arms, who had before shown themselves men of tried 
courage. The Duke of Orleans commanded the first bat- 
tahon, where there were thirty-six banners and twice as 
many pennons. The second was under the command of 
the Duke of Normandy and his two brothers, the Lord 
Lewis and Lord John. The King of France commanded 
the third. 

While these three battalions were forming, the king 
called to him the Lord Eustace de Ribeaumont, the Lord 
John de Landas, and the Lord Guiscard de Beaujeu, and 
said to them, " Ride forward, as near the English army as 
you can, and observe their countenance, taking notice of 

228 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

their numbers, and examine which will be the most advan- 
tageous manner for us to combat them, whether on horse- 
back or on foot." The three knights left the king to obey 
his commands. The king was mounted upon a white 
palfrey, and, riding to the head of his army, said aloud, 
"You, men of Paris, Chartres, Rouen, and Orleans, have 
been used to threaten what you would do to the English 
if you could find them, and wished much to meet them in 
arms. Now that wish shall be gratified : I will lead you to 
them ; and let us see how you will revenge yourselves for 
all the mischief and damage they have done you. Be 
assured we will not part without fighting." Those who 
heard him replied, " Sir, through God's assistance, we 
will most cheerfully meet them." At this instant the 
three knights returned, and, pushing through the crowd, 
came to the king, who asked what news they had brought. 
Sir Eustace de Ribeaumont, whom his companions had 
requested to be their spokesman, answered, " Sir, we have 
observed accurately the English. They may amount, ac- 
cording to our estimate, to about two thousand men at 
arms, four thousand archers, and fifteen hundred footmen. 
They are in a very strong position, but we do not imagine 
they can make more than one battalion : nevertheless 
they have posted themselves with great judgment, have 
fortified all the road along the hedge-side, and lined the 
hedges with part of their archers ; for, as that is the only 
road for an attack, one must pass through the midst of 
them. This lane has no other entry ; and it is so narrow, 
that scarcely can four men ride through it abreast. At 
the end of this lane, amid vines and thorns, where it is im- 
possible to ride or march in any regular order, are posted 
the men at arms, on foot ; and they have drawn up before 
them their archers, in the manner of a harrow, so that it 

Froissart's Chronicles. 229 

will be no eary matter to defeat them." The king asked 
ill what manner they would advise him to attack them. 
"Sir," replied Sir Eustace, "on foot: except three hun- 
dred of the most expert and boldest of your army, who 
must be well armed and excellently mounted, in order to 
break, if possible, this body of archers ; and then your bat- 
talions must advance quickly on foot, attack the men at 
arms hand to hand, and combat them valiantly. This is 
the best advice that I can give you ; and, if any one know 
a better, let him say it." The king replied, "Thus shall 
it be, then;" and in company with his two marshals he 
rode from battalion to battalion, and selected, in con- 
formity to their opinions, three hundred knights and 
squires of the greatest repute in his army, each well armed 
and mounted on the best of horses. Soon after, the bat- 
talion of the Germans was formed, who were to remain on 
horseback to assist the marshals : they were commanded 
by the Earls of Saltzburg, Neydo, and Nassau. 

King John was armed in royal armor, and nineteen 
others like him. He had given his eldest son in charge to 
the Lord of St. Venant, the Lord of Landas, and the Lord 
Theobald de Bodenay. The Lord Geoffry de Chargny 
carried the banner of France, as being the most valiant 
and prudent knight of the army. The Lord Reginald de 
Quenolle,* surnamed the Archpriest, wore the full armor 
of the young Earl of Alengon. 

* It was Arnaut (i.e., Arnold) de Cervolle who was surnamed the Arch- 
priest. — Ed. 

230 Froissarfs Chronicles. 


The Cardinal de Perigord endeavors to make Peace between 
THE King of France and the Prince of Wales, previous to the 
Battle of Poitiers. 

WHEN the battalions of the King of France were 
drawn up, and each lord posted under his proper 
banner, and informed how they were to act, it was ordered, 
that all those who were armed with lances should shorten 
them to the length of five feet, that they might be the 
more manageable, and that every one should take off his 
spurs. As the French were on the point of marching to 
their enemies, the Cardinal de Perigord, who had left Poi- 
tiers that morning early, came full gallop up to the king, 
making a low reverence, and entreated him, with uplifted 
hands, for the love of God, to halt a moment, that he 
might speak to him. He thus began : "Most dear sire, you 
have here with you all the flower of knighthood of your 
kingdom, against a handful of people, such as the English 
are, when compared to your army : you may have them 
upon other terms than by a battle ; and it will be more 
honorable and profitable to you to gain them by these 
means than to risk such a line army and such noble per- 
sons as you have now with you. I therefore beseech you, 
in all humility, and by the love of God, that you will 
permit me to go to the prince, and remonstrate with him 
on the dangerous situation he is in." The king answered, 
" It is very agreeable to us ; but make haste back again." 

All this Sunday the cardinal rode from one army to the 
other, and was very anxious to reconcile the two parties. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 231 

Many proposals were made. At last they declared that if 
the Prince of Wales, and one hundred of his knights, did 
not surrender themselves prisoners to the King of France, 
he would not allow them to pass on without an engage- 
ment. The prince and his army disdained accepting such 
conditions. The Cardinal de Perigord, not being able by 
any means to reconcile the king and prince, returned to 
Poitiers late in the evening. That same day the French 
kept in their quarters, where they lived at their ease, hav- 
ing plenty of provisions ; while the English, on the other 
hand, were but badly off, nor did they know whither to go 
for forage, as they were so straitly kept by the French, 
they could not move without danger. This Sunday they 
made many mounds and ditches round where the archers 
were posted, the better to secure them. 

On Monday morning the prince and his army were 
soon in readiness, and as well arrayed as on the former 
day. The French were also drawn out by sunrise. The 
cardinal, returning again that morning, imagined that, by 
his exhortations, he could pacify both parties ; but the 
French told him to return where he pleased, and not 
attempt bringing them any more treaties or pacifications, 
else worse might betide him. When the cardinal saw that 
he labored in vain, he took leave of the King of France, 
and set out toward the Prince of Wales, to whom he said, 
" Fair son, exert yourself as much as possible, for there 
must be a battle : I cannot by any means pacify the King 
of France." The prince replied, that such were the 
intentions of him and his party; "and God defend the 
right." The cardinal then took leave of him, and returned 
to Poitiers. 

The arrangement of the prince's army, in respect to the 
battalions, was exactly the same as what the three knights 

232 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

before named had related to the King of France, except 
at this time he had ordered some valiant and intelligent 
knights to remain on horseback, similar to the battalion of 
the French marshals, and had also commanded three hun- 
dred men at arms, and as many archers on horseback, to 
post themselves on the right, on a small hill, that was not 
too steep nor too high ; and, by passing over its summit, 
to get round the wing of the Duke of Normandy's battal- 
ion, who was in person at the foot of it. These were all 
the alterations the prince had made in his order of battle : 
he himself was with the main body, in the midst of the 
vineyards ; the whole completely armed, with their horses 
near them, if there should be occasion for them. They 
had fortified and enclosed the weaker parts, with their 
wagons and baggage. 

I wish to name some of the most renowned knights 
who were with the Prince of Wales. There were Thomas 
Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick; John Vere, Earl of Oxford ; 
William Montacute, Earl of Salisbury ; Robert Hufford, 
Earl of Suffolk ; Ralph, Lord Stafford, the Earl of Staf- 
ford ; the Lord Richard Stafford, brother to the Earl ; Sir 
John Chandos ; the Lord Reginald Cobham ; the Lord 
Edward Spencer ; the Lord James Audley, and his 
brother the Lord Peter ; the Lord Thomas Berkeley (son 
of the Lord Maurice Berkeley, who died at Calais nine 
years before) ; Ralph, Lord Basset, of Drayton ; John, 
Lord Warren (eldest son to John Plantagenet, late Earl of 
Warren, Strathern, and Surrey, by his first lady, Maude 
de Hereford) ; Peter, Lord Mauley, the sixth of the name ; 
the Lord John Willoughby de Eresby ; the Lord Barthol- 
omew de Burghersh ; the Lord William Felton, and the 
Lord Thomas Felton his brother; the Lord Thomas 
Bradestan ; Sir Walter Pavely ; Sir Stephen Cossington ; 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 233 

Sir Matthew Gournay ; Sir William dc la More, and other 
English. From Gascony, there were the Lord of Pu- 
miers ; the Lord d'Albret ; the Captal de Buch ; the 
Lord John de Chaumont ; the Lord de I'Esparrc ; the 
Lord of Rosen ; the Lord of Couscn ; the Lord de Mont- 
ferrand ; the Lord de Landulas ; the Lord Souldich dc la 
Traine, and many more whom I cannot remember. Of 
Hainaulters, there were Sir Eustace d'Ambreticourt ; the 
Lord John de Guystelle, and two other strangers ; the 
Lord Daniel Phaselle, and Lord Denys de Morbeque. 
The whole army of the prince, including every one, did 
not amount to eight thousand ; when the French, count- 
ing all sorts of persons, were upward of sixty thousand 
combatants, among whom were more than three thousand 


The Battle of Poitiers, between the PraNCE of Wales and the 
King of France. 

WHEN the Prince of Wales saw, from the departure 
of the cardinal without being able to obtain any 
honorable terms, that a battle was inevitable, and that the 
King of France held both him and his army in great con- 
tempt, he thus addressed himself to them : " Now, my gal- 
lant fellows, what though we be a small body when com- 
pared to the army of our enemies ? do not let us. be cast 
down on that account, for victory docs not always follow 
numbers, but where Almighty God pleases to bestow it. 
If, through good fortune, the day shall be ours, we will 
gain the greatest honor and glory in this world: if the 
contrary should happen, and we be slain, I have a father 

234 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

and beloved brethren alive, and you all have some rela- 
tions or good friends, who will be sure to revenge our 
deaths. I therefore entreat you to exert yourselves, and 
combat manfully ; for, if it please God and St. George, 
this day you shall see me a good knight." By such words 
and arguments as these the prince harangued his men, as 
did the marshals, by his orders ; so that they were all in 
high spirits. Sir John Chandos placed himself near the 
prince, to guard and advise him ; and never, during that 
day, would he on any account quit his post. 

The Lord James Audley remained also a considerable 
time near him ; but, when he saw that they must certainly 
engage, he said to the prince, " Sir, I have ever served 
most loyally my lord your father, and yourself, and shall 
continue to do so as long as I have life. Dear sir, I must 
now acquaint you, that formerly I made a vow, if ever I 
should be engaged in any battle where the king your 
father, or any of his sons, were, that I would be the fore- 
most in the attack, and the best combatant on his side, or 
die in the attempt. I beg, therefore, most earnestly, as a 
reward for any services I may have done, that you would 
grant me permission honorably to quit you, that I may 
post myself in such wise to accomplish my vow." The 
prince granted this request, and, holding out his hand to 
him, said, " Sir James, God grant that you may this day 
shine in valor above all other knights ! " The knight then 
set off, and posted himself at the front of the battalion, 
with only four squires whom he had detained with him, to 
guard his person. This Lord James was a prudent and 
valiant knight ; and by his advice the army had thus been 
drawn up in order of battle. Lord James began to ad- 
vance, in order to fight with the battalion of the marshals. 
Tn like manner Sir Eustace d'Ambreticourt took great 

Froissart 's Chroii ides. 235 

pains to be the first to engage, and was so, or near it ; and, 
at the same time that Lord James Audley was pushing 
forward to seek his enemies, it thus befell Sir Eustace. 
I mentioned before that the Germans, attached to the 
French interest, were drawn up in one battalion on horse- 
back, and remained so, to assist the marshals. Sir Eus- 
tace d'Ambreticourt, being mounted, placed his lance in 
its rest, and, fixing his shield, stuck spurs into his horse, 
and galloped up to this battalion. A German knight, 
called Lord Lewis von Coucibras {who bore for arms five 
roses, gules, on a shield argent, while those of Sir Eustace 
were ermine, three humets, in pale gules), perceiving Sir 
Eustace quit his army, left his battalion, that was under 
the command of Earl John of Nassau, and made up to 
him. The shock of their meeting was so violent, that 
they both fell to the ground. The German was wounded 
in the shoulder, so that he could not rise again so nimbly 
as Sir Eustace, who, when upon his legs, after he had 
taken breath, was hastening to the knight that lay on the 
ground ; but five German men at arms came upon him, 
struck him down, and made him prisoner. They led him 
to those that were attached to the Earl of Nassau, who 
did not pay much attention to him, nor do I know if they 
made him swear himself their prisoner ; but they tied him 
to a car with some of their harness. 

The engagement now began on both sides; and the 
battalion of the marshals was advancing before those who 
were intended to break the battalion of the archers, and 
had entered the lane where the hedges on both sides 
were lined by the archers, who, as soon as they saw them 
fairly entered, began shooting with their bows in such an 
excellent manner, from each side of the hedge, that the 
horses, smarting under the pain of the wounds made by 

236 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

their bearded arrows, would not advance, but turned about, 
and by their unruliness threw their masters, who could 
not manage them, nor could those that had fallen get up 
again for the confusion : so that this battalion of the 
marshals could never approach that of the prince. How- 
ever, there were some knights and squires that were so 
well mounted, that, by the strength of their horses, they 
passed through, and broke the hedge, but, in spite of their 
efforts, could not get up to the battalion of the prince. 
The Lord James Audley, attended by his four squires, 
had placed himself, sword in hand, in front of this bat- 
talion, much before the rest, and was performing wonders. 
He had advanced through his eagerness so far, that he 
engaged the Lord Arnold d'Andreghen, Marshal of France, 
under his banner, when they fought a considerable time, 
and the Lord Arnold was roughly enough treated. The 
battalion of the marshals was soon after put to the rout 
by the arrows of the archers, and the assistance of the 
men at arms, who rushed among them as they were struck 
down, and seized and slew them at their pleasure. The 
Lord Arnold d'Andreghen was there made prisoner, but 
by others than the Lord James Audley or his four squires ; 
for that knight never stopped to make any one prisoner 
that day, but was the whole time employed in fighting and 
following his enemies. In another part, the Lord John 
Clermont fought under his banner as long as he was able ; 
but, being struck down, he could neither get up again, nor 
procure his ransom : he was killed on the spot. Some 
say this treatment was owing to his altercation on tne 
preceding day with Sir John Chandos. 

In a short time this battalion of the marshals was 
totally discomfited ; for they fell back so much on each 
other, that the army could not advance, and those who 

Fro issa rt 's Chron ides. 237 

were in the rear, not being able to get forward, fell back 
upon the battalion commanded by the Duke of Normandy, 
which was broad and thick in the front, but it was soon 
thin enough in the rear ; for, when they learnt that the 
marshals had been defeated, they mounted their horses, 
and set off. At this time a body of English came down 
from the hill, and, passing along the battalions on horse- 
back, accompanied by a large body of archers, fell upon 
one of the wings of the Duke of Normandy's division. 
To say the truth, the English archers were of infinite 
service to their army ; for they shot so thickly and so 
well, that the French did not know which way to turn 
themselves to avoid their arrows : by this means they 
kept advancing by little and little, and gained ground. 
When the men at arms perceived that the first battalion 
was beaten, and that the one under the Duke of Nor- 
mandy was in disorder, and beginning to open, they 
hastened to mount their horses, which they had, ready 
prepared, close at hand. As soon as they were all 
mounted, they gave a shout of, " St. George for Gui- 
enne ! " and Sir John Chandos said to the prince, "Sir, 
sir, now push forward, for the day is ours : God will this 
day put it in your hand. Let us make for our adversary 
the King of France ; for, where he is, will lie the main 
stress of the business. I well know that his valor will 
not let him fly ; and he will remain with us, if it please 
God and St. George. But he must be well fought with ; 
and you have before said that you would show yourself 
this day a good knight." The prince replied, "John, get 
forward : you shall not see mc turn my back this day, 
but I will always be among the foremost." He then said 
to Sir Walter Woodland, his banner-bearer, " Banner, ad- 
vance, in the name of God and St. George." The knight. 

FroissarVs Chronicles. 

obeyed the commands of the prince. In that part the 
battle was very hot and greatly crowded. Many a one 
was unhorsed ; and you must know that whenever any one 
fell he could not get up again unless he were quickly 
and well assisted. As the prince was thus advancing 
upon his enemies, followed by his division, and upon the 
point of charging them, he perceived the Lord Robert 
de Duras lying dead near a small bush on his right hand, 
with his banner beside him, and ten or twelve of his 
people ; upon which he ordered two of his squires and 
three archers to place the body upon a shield, carry it to 
Poitiers, and present it from him to the Cardinal of 
Perigord, and say that " I salute him by that token." 
This was done ; for he had been informed how the suite 
of the cardinal had remained in the field of battle in arms 
against him, which was not very becoming, nor a fit deed 
for churchmen to do, as they, under pretext of doing good 
and establishing peace, pass from one army to the other : 
they ought not therefore to take up arms on either side. 
These, however, had done so, at which the prince was 
much enraged, and for this had sent the cardinal his 
nephew Sir Robert de Duras, and was desirous of striking 
off the head of the castellan of Amposta, who had been 
made prisoner, notwithstanding he belonged to the car- 
dinal ; but Sir John Chandos said, "My lord, do not think 
of such things at this moment, when you must look to 
others of the greatest importance. Perhaps the cardinal 
may excuse himself so well, that you will be convinced 
he was not to blame." 

The prince, upon this," charged the division of the Duke 

of Athens ; and very sharp the encounter was, so that 

I, many were beaten down. The French, who fought in 

large bodies, cried out, "Montjoye St. Denis!" and the 

Froissart's Chronicles. 239 

English answered them with, "St. George for Guienne!" 
The prince next met the battalion of Germans, under the 
command of the Earl of Saltzburg, the Earl of Nassau, 
and the Earl of Neydo ; but they were soon overthrown 
and put to flight. The English archers shot so well, that 
none dared to come within reach of their arrows, and they 
put to death many who could not ransom themselves. 
The three above-named earls were slain there, as well as 
many other knights and squires attached to them. In the 
confusion Sir Eustace d'Ambreticourt was rescued by his 
own men, who remounted him : he afterwards performed 
many gallant deeds of arms, and made good captures that 

When the battalion of the Duke of Normandy saw the 
prince advancing so quick upon them, they bethought 
themselves how to escape. The sons of the king, the 
Duke of Normandy, the Earl of Poitiers, the Earl of 
Touraine, who were very young, too easily believed what 
those under whose management they were placed said to 
them : however, the Lord Guiscard d'Angle and Sir John 
de Saintr6, who were near the Earl of Poitiers, would not 
fly, but rushed into the thickest of the combat. The three 
sons of the king, according to the advice given them, 
galloped away, with upward of eight hundred lances who 
had never been near the enemy, and took the road to 
Chauvigny. When the Lord John de Landas, who with 
the Lord Theobald de Bodenay and the Lord of St. 
Venant were the guardians of the Duke of Normandy, 
had fled with him a good league, they took leave of him, 
and besought the Lord of St. Venant not to quit him until 
they were all arrived at a place of safety ; for by doing 
thus he would acquire more honor than if he were to 
remain on the field of battle. On their return thev met 

240 Froissart's Chronicles. 

the division of the Duke of Orleans, quite whole and 
unhurt, who had fled from behind the rear of the king's 
battalion. True it is, there were many good knights and 
squires among them, who, notwithstanding the flight of 
their leaders, had much rather have suffered death than 
the smallest reproach. The king's battalion advanced in 
good order to meet the English ; many hard blows were 
given with swords, battle-axes, and other warlike weapons. 
The King of France, with the Lord Philip his youngest 
son, attacked the division of the marshals, the Earls of 
Warwick and Suffolk. There were also with the marshals 
some Gascons, such as the Captal de Buch, the Lord of 
Pumiers, the Lord Amery de Charree, the Lord of Lan- 
guran, the Lord de I'Estrade. The Lord John de Landas 
with the Lord Theobald de Bodenay, returning in good 
time, dismounted, and joined the battalion of the king. 
On one side the Duke of Athens, constable of France, 
was engaged with his division; and a little higher up the 
Duke of Bourbon, surrounded with good knights from the 
Bourbonois and Picardy. Near to these were the men of 
Poitou, the Lord de Pons, the Lord de Partenay, the Lord 
de Dampmaire, the Lord de Montabouton, the Lord de 
Surgeres, the Lord John de Saintre, the Lord Guiscard 
d'Angle, the Lord d'Argenton, the Lord de Linieres, the 
Lord de Montrande, the Viscount de Rochechouart, the 
Earl of Aulnoy. Many others were also engaged, such as 
the Lord James de Beaujeu, the Lord of Chateau-Villain, 
and other knights and squires from Burgundy. Li an- 
other part were the Earls of Vantadour and Montpensier, 
the Lord James de Bourbon, the Lord John d'Artois 
and the Lord James his brother, the Lord Arnold de Cer- 
volle, surnamed the Archpriest, armed as the young Eail 
of Alencon, There were also from Auvergne the Lord de 

FroissarVs Chro7iicles. 241 

Marcueil, the Lord de la Tour, the Lord de Chalenton, 
the Lord de Montagai, the Lord de Rochefort, the Lord de 
la Chaire, the Lord d'Achon ; and from Limousin the 
Lord de Linal, the Lord de Naruel, and the Lord Pierre 
de Buffiere. From Picardy there were the Lord William de 
Merle, the Lord Arnold de Renneval, the Lord Geoffry 
de St. Dizier, the Lord de Chauny, the Lord de Hely, the 
Lord de Monsant, the Lord de Hagnes, and many others. 
The Lord Douglas from Scotland was also in the king's 
battalion, and for some time fought very valiantly ; but, 
when he perceived that the discomfiture was so complete 
on the side of the French, he saved himself as fast as he 
could ; for he dreaded so much being taken by the Eng- 
lish, that he had rather have been slain. 

The Lord James Audley, with the assistance of his four 
squires, was always engaged in the heat of the battle. He 
was severely wounded in the body, head, and face ; and, as 
long as his strength and breath permitted him, he main- 
tained the fight, and advanced forward. He continued to 
do so until he was covered with blc^d : then, toward the 
close of the engagement, his four squires, who were as his 
body-guard, took him, and led him out of the engage- 
ment, very weak and wounded, toward a hedge, that he 
might cool and take breath. They disarmed him gently 
as they could, in order to examine his wounds, dress them, 
and sew up the most dangerous. 

King John, on his part, proved himself a good knight ; 
and, if the fourth of his people had behaved as well, the 
day would have been his own. Those, however, who had 
remained with him acquitted themselves to the best of 
their power, and were either slain or taken prisoners. 
Scarcely any who were with the king attempted to escape. 
In this engagement, upward of two hundred knights and 

242 Froissart's Chronicles. 

squires were killed or captured. A band of Norman 
knights still kept up the battle in another part of the 
field ; and of these Sir Guinenton de Chambly and Sir 
Baudrin de la House were slain. Many others were dis- 
comfited, who were fisrhtina: in small bodies. 


Two Frenchmen, running away from the Battle of Poitiers, are 


AMONG the battles, skirmishes, flights, and pursuits 
which happened in the course of this day, an adven- 
ture befell Sir Edward de Roucy which I cannot omit 
relating in this place. He had left the field of battle, as 
he perceived the day was irrecoverably lost ; and, not wish- 
ing to fall in the hands of the English, was got about a 
league off, when he was pursued by an English knight, 
his lance in rest, who cried to him, "Sir knight, turn 
about ! you ought to be ashamed thus to fly." Upon this 
Sir Edward halted, and the Englishman attacked him, 
thinking to fix his lance in his target ; but he failed, for 
Sir Edward turned the stroke aside, nevertheless he did 
not miss his own : with his spear he hit his enemy so 
violent a blow on the helmet, that he was stunned, and fell 
to the ground, where he remained senseless. Sir Edward 
dismounted, and, placing his lance on his breast, told him 
he would certainly kill him if he did not surrender himself 
his prisoner, rescued or not. The Englishman surren- 
dered, and went with Sir Edward, who afterwards ran- 
somed him. 

It happened that in the midst of the general pursuit, a 

Fj'oissart' s CJiro7iicles. 243 

squire from Picardy, named John de Helennes, had quitted 
the king's division, and, meeting his page with a fresh 
horse, had mounted him, and made off as fast as he could. 
At that time there was near to him the Lord of Berkeley, 
a young knight, who for the first time had that day dis- 
played his banner : he immediately set out in pursuit of 
him. When the Lord of Berkeley had followed him for 
some little time, John de Helennes turned about, put his 
sword under his arm in the manner of a lance, and thus 
advanced upon the Lord Berkeley, , who, taking his sword 
by the handle, flourished it, and lifted up his arm in order 
to strike the squire as he passed. John de Helennes, see- 
ing the intended stroke, avoided it, but did not miss his 
own ; for, as they passed each other, by a blow on the arm 
he made Lord Berkeley's sword fall to the ground. When 
the knight found that he had lost his sword, and that the 
squire had his, he dismounted, and made for the place 
where his sword lay; but he could not get there before 
the squire gave him a violent thrust which passed through 
both his thighs, so that, not being able to help himself, he 
fell to the ground. John upon this dismounted, and, seiz- 
ing the sword of the knight, advanced up to him, and 
asked him if he were willing to surrender. The knight 
required his name. " I am called John de Helennes," 
said he; "what is your name.?" — "In truth, companion," 
replied the knight, "my name is Thomas, and I am Lord 
of Berkeley, a very handsome castle situated on the River 
Severn, on the borders of Wales." — "Lord of Berkeley," 
said the squire, "you shall be my prisoner: I will place 
you in safety, and take care you are healed, for you appear 
to me to be badly wounded." The knight answered, " I 
surrender myself willingly, for you have loyally conquered 
me." He gave him his word that he would be his pris- 

244 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

oner, rescued or not. John then drew his sword out of 
the knight's thighs, and the wounds remained open ; but 
he bound them up tightly, and, placing him on his horse, 
led him a foot-pace to Chatelherault. He continued there, 
out of friendship to him, for fifteen days, and had medi- 
cines administered to him. When the knight was a little 
recovered, he had him placed in a litter, and conducted 
him safe to his house in Picardy, where he remained 
more than a year before he was quite cured, though he 
continued lame ; and when he departed he paid for his 
ransom six thousand nobles, so that this squire became a 
knight by the great profit he got from the Lord of 


The Manner in which King John was taken Prisoner at the 
Battle of Poitiers. 

KING JOHN himself did wonders : he was armed 
with a battle-axe, with which he fought and de- 
fended himself. The Earl of Tancarville, in endeavoring 
to break through the crowd, was made prisoner close to 
him ; as were also Sir James de Bourbon, Earl of Pon- 
thieu, and the Lord John d'Artois, Earl of Eu. In 
another part, a little farther off, the Lord Charles d'Ar- 
tois and many other knights and squires were captured 
by the division under the banner of the Captal de Buch. 
The pursuit continued even to the gates of Poitiers, 
where there was much slaughter and overthrow of men 
and horses ; for the inhabitants of Poitiers had shut their 
gates, and would suffer none to enter : upon which ac- 
count there was great butchery on the causeway, before 

The Surrender of King John of France. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 245 

the gate, where such numbers were killed or wounded, 
that several surrendered themselves the moment they 
spied an Englishman ; and there were many English 
archers who had four, five, or six prisoners. 

The Lord of Pons, a powerful baron in Poitou, was 
slain there, as were several other knights and squires. 
The English and Gascons poured so fast upon the king's 
division, that they broke through the ranks by force; and 
the French were so intermixed with their enemies, that 
at times there were five men attacking one gentleman. 
The Lord of Pompadour and the Lord Bartholomew de 
Brunes were there captured. The Lord dc Chargny was 
slain, with the banner of France in his hands, by the 
Lord Reginald Cobham ; and afterwards the Earl of Dam- 
martin shared the same fate. 

There was much pressing at this time, through eager- 
ness to take the king ; and those who were nearest to 
him, and knew him, cried out, " Surrender yourself, sur- 
render yourself, or you are a dead man." In that part of 
the field was a young knight from St. Oraer, who was en- 
gaged by a salary in the service of the King of England : 
his name was Denys de Morbeque : who for five years 
had attached himself to the English, on account of having 
been banished in his younger days from France for a 
murder committed in an affray at St. Omcr. It for- 
tunately happened for this knight that he was at the time 
near to the King of France, when he was so much pulled 
about : he by dint of force (for he was very strong and 
robust) pushed through the crowd, and said to the king 
in good French, "Sire, sire, surrender yourself." The 
king, who found himself very disagreeably situated, turn- 
ing to him asked, "To whom shall I surrender myself.^ to 
whom } Where is my cousin the Prince of Wales ">. if I 

246 Froissart's Chronicles. 

could see him, I would speak to him." — "Sire," replied 
Sir Denys, " he is not here ; but surrender yourself to 
me, and I will lead you to him." — "Who are you.-"" said 
the king. "Sire, I am Denys de Morbeque, a knight 
from Artois ; but I serve the King of England, because 
I cannot belong to France, having forfeited all I pos- 
sessed there." The king then gave him his right-hand 
glove, and said, "I surrender myself to you." There 
was much crowding and pushing about, for every one 
was eager to cry out, "I have taken him." Neither the 
king nor his youngest son Philip were able to get forward, 
and free themselves from the throng. 

The Prince of Wales, who was as courageous as a lion, 
took great delight that day to combat his enemies. Sir 
John Chandos, who was near his person, and had never 
quitted it during the whole of the day, nor stopped to 
make prisoners, said to him toward the end of the battle, 
" Sir, it will be proper for you to halt here, and plant your 
banner on the top of this bush, which will serve to rally 
your forces, that seem very much scattered ; for I do not 
see any banners or pennons of the French, nor any con- 
siderable bodies able to rally against us ; and you must 
refresh yourself a little, as I perceive you are very much 
heated." Upon this the banner of the prince was placed 
on a high bush : the minstrels began to play, and trum- 
pets and clarions to do their duty. The prince took off 
his helmet ; and the knights attendant on his person, and 
belonging to his chamber, were soon ready, and pitched 
a small pavilion of crimson color, which the prince en- 
tered. Liquor was then brought to him and the other 
knights who were with him : they increased every mo- 
ment ; for they were returning from the pursuit, and 
stopped there surrounded by their prisoners. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 247' 

As soon as the two marshals were come back, the 
prince asked them if they knew any thing of the King 
of France : they replied, " No, sir, not for a certainty ; 
but we believe he must be either killed or made prisoner, 
since he has never quitted his battalion." The prince 
then, addressing the Earl of Wanvick and Lord Cobham, 
said, " I beg of you to mount your horses, and ride over 
the field, so that on your return you may bring me some 
certain intelligence of him," The two barons, immedi- 
ately mounting their horses, left the prince, and made for 
a small hillock, that they might look about them : from 
their stand they perceived a crowd of rrien at arms on 
foot, who were advancing very slowly. The King of 
France was in the midst of them, and in great danger ; 
for the English and Gascons had taken him from Sir 
Denys de Morbeque, and were disputing who should have 
him, the stoutest bawling out, " It is I that have got 
him!" — "No, no," replied the others, "we have him." 
The king, to escape from this peril, said, " Gentlemen, 
gentlemen, I pray you conduct me and my son in a 
courteous manner to my cousin the prince ; and do not 
make such a riot about my capture, for I am so great a 
lord that I can make all sufficiently rich." These words, 
and others which fell from the king, appeased them a 
little ; but the disputes were always beginning again, and 
they did not move a step without rioting. When the 
two barons saw this troop of people, they descended from 
the hillock, and, sticking spurs into their horses, made up 
to them. On their arrival, they asked what was the mat- 
ter : they were answered, that it was the King of France, 
who had been made prisoner, and that upward of ten 
knights and squires challenged him at the same time, as 
belonging to each of them. The two barons then pushed 

248 Froissart's Chronicles. 

through the crowd by main force, and ordered all to draw 
aside. They commanded, in the name of the prince, and 
under pain of instant death, that every one should keep 
his distance, and not approach unless ordered or desired 
so to do. They all retreated behind the king ; and the 
two barons, dismounting, advanced to the king with pro- 
found reverences, and conducted him in a peaceable man- 
ner to the Prince of Wales. 


The Prince of Wales makes a Handsome Present to the Lord 
James Audley, after the Battle of Poitiers. 

SOON after the Earl of Warwick and the Lord Regi- 
nald Cobham had left the prince, as has been above 
related, he inquired from those knights who were about 
him of Lord James Audley, and asked if any one knew 
what was become of him. "Yes, sir," replied some of 
the company : " he is very badly wounded, and is lying in 
a litter hard by." — " By my troth," replied the prince, " I 
am sore vexed that he is so wounded. See, I beg of you, 
if he be able to bear being carried hither : otherwise I 
will come and visit him." Two knights directly left the 
prince, and, coming to Lord James, told him how desirous 
the prince was of seeing him. " A thousand thanks to 
the prince," answered Lord James, "for condescending 
to remember so poor a knight as myself." He then called 
eight of his servants, and- had himself borne in his litter 
to where the prince was. When he was come into his 
presence, the prince bent down over him, and embraced 
him, saying, " My Lord James, I am bound to honor you 

FroissarVs Chronicles. 249 

very much ; for by your valor this, day you have acquired 
glory and renown above us all, and your prowess has 
proved you the bravest knight." Lord James replied, 
" My lord, you have a right to say whatever you please, 
but I wish it were as you have said. If I have this day 
been forward to serve you, it has been to accomplish a 
vow that I had made, and it ought not to be thought so 
much of." — " Sir James," answered the prince, '' I and all 
the rest of us deem you the bravest knight on our side in 
this battle; and to increase your renown, and furnish you 
withal to pursue your career of glory in war, I retain you 
henceforward, forever, as my knight, with five hundred 
marks of yearly revenue, which I will secure to you from 
my estates in England." — "Sir," said Lord James, "God 
make me deserving of the good fortune you'bestow upon 
me ! " At these words he took leave of the prince, as he 
was very weak, and his servants carried him back to his 
tent. He could not have been at a great distance, when 
the Earl of Warwick and Lord Reginald Cobham entered 
the pavilion of the prince, and presented the King of 
France to him. The prince made a very low obeisance 
to the king, and gave him as much comfort as he was able, 
which he knew well how to administer. He ordered wine 
and spices to be brought, which he presented to the king 
himself, as a mark of his great affection. 

When the Lord James Audley was brought back to his 
tent, after having most respectfully thanked the prince for 
his gift, he did not remain long before he sent for his 
brother Sir Peter Audley, the Lord Bartholomew Bur- 
ghcrsh, Sir Stephen Coffington, Lord Willoughby of 
Ercsby, and Lord William Ferrers of Groby : they were 
all his relations. He then sent for his four squires that 
had attended upon him that day, and, addressing himself 

250 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

to the knights, said, "Gentlemen, it has pleased my lord 
the prince to give me five hundred marks as a yearly 
inheritance ; for which gift I have done him very trifling 
bodily service. You see here these four squires, who 
have always served me most loyally, and especially in this 
day's engagement. What glory I may have gained has 
been through their means, and by their valor ; on which 
account I wish to reward them. I therefore give and 
resign into their hands the gift of five hundred marks, 
which my lord the prince has been pleased to bestow on 
me, in the same form and manner that it has been pre- 
sented to me. I disinherit myself of it, and give it to 
them sin;ply, and without a possibility of revoking it." 
The knights present looked on each other, and said, " It 
is becoming the noble mind of Lord James to make such 
a gift ; " and then unanimously added, " May the Lord 
God remember you for it ! We will bear witness to this 
gift to them wheresoever and whensoever they may call 
on us." They then took leave of him ; when some went 
to the Prince of Wales, who that night was to give a 
supper to the King of France from his own provisions : for 
the French had brought vast quantities with them, which 
were now fallen into the hands of the English, many of 
whom had not tasted bread for the last three days. 


The Prince of Wales entertains the King of France at Suffer, 
THE Evening after the Battle. 

WHEN evening was come, the Prince of Wales gave 
a supper in his pavilion to the King of France, 
and to the greater part of the princes and barons who 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 251 

were prisoners. The prince seated the King of France 
and his son the Lord Pliihp at an elevated and well-covered 
table : with them were Sir James de Bourbon, the Lord 
John d'Artois, the Earls of TancarvilJe, of Estampes, of 
Dammartin, of Graville, and the Lord of Partenay. The 
other knights and squires were placed at different tables. 
The prince himself served the king's table, as well as the 
others, with every mark of humility, and would not sit 
down at it, in spite of all his entreaties for him so to do, 
saying that he was not worthy of such an honor, nor did 
it appertain to him to seat himself at the table of so great 
a king, or of so valiant a man as he had shown himself 
by his actions that day. He added also with a noble air, 
" Dear sir, do not make a poor meal because the Almighty 
God has not gratified your wishes in the event of this day; 
for be assured that my lord and father will show you every 
honor and friendship in his power, and will arrange your 
ransom so reasonably that you will henceforward always 
remain friends. \\\ my opinion, you have cause to be glad 
that the success of this battle did not turn out as you 
desired ; for you have this day acquired such high renown 
for prowess, that you have surpassed all the best knights 
on your side. I do not, dear sir, say this to flatter you ; 
for all those of our side who have seen and observed the 
actions of each party have unanimously allowed this to 
be your due, and decree you the prize and garland for it." 
At the end of this speech there were murmurs of praise 
heard from every one; and the French said the prince 
had spoken nobly and truly, and that he would be one of 
the most gallant princes in Christendom, if God should 
grant him life to pursue his career of glory. 

252 Froissarfs Chronicles. 


The Prince of Wales returns to Bordeaux, after the Battle 
OF Poitiers. 

WHEN they had supped and sufficiently regaled 
themselves, each departed to his lodging with the 
knights and squires they had captured. Those that had 
taken them asked what they could pay for their ransoms 
without much hurting their fortunes, and willingly be- 
lieved whatever they told them ; for they had declared 
publicly, that they did not wish to deal harshly with any 
knight or squire, that his ransom should be so Burdensome 
as to prevent his following the profession of arms, or 
advancing his fortune. Toward morning, when these 
lords had heard mass, and had eaten and drunk a little, 
while the servants were packing up or loading the bag- 
gage, they decamped and advanced toward Poitiers. 

That same night the Lord of Roye had entered the city 
of Poitiers with a hundred lances that had not been en- 
gaged in the battle ; for, having met the Duke of Nor- 
mandy near Chauvigny, he had commanded him to march 
for Poitiers, and to guard it until he should receive other 
orders. ■When the Lord of Roye had entered Poitiers, he 
ordered the gates, towers, and walls to be well watched 
that night, on account of the English being so near ; and 
on the morning he armed all sorts of people, and posted 
them wherever he judged most convenient for the defence 
of the town. The English, however, passed by without 
making any attempt upon it ; for they were so laden with 
gold, silver, jewels, and great prisoners, that they did 

Froissart's Chronicles. 253 

not attack any fortress in their march, but thought they 
should do great things if they were able to convey the 
King of France and his son, with all their booty, in safety 
to the city of Bordeaux. They returned therefore, by 
easy marches, on account of their prisoners and heavy 
baggage, never advancing more than four or five leagues 
a day. They encamped early, and marched in one com- 
pact body, without quitting the road, except the division 
of the marshals, who advanced in front, with about five 
hundred men at arms, to clear the country. They met 
with no resistance anywhere ; for the whole country was 
in a state of consternation, and all the men at arms had 
retreated into the strong fortresses. 

During this march the Prince of Wales was informed 
how Lord James Audley had made a present of his pen- 
sion of five hundred marks to his four squires. He sent 
for him. Lord James was carried in his litter to the pres- 
ence of the prince, who received him very graciously, and 
said to him, " Sir James, I have been informed, that after 
you had taken leave of me, and were returned to your 
tent, you made a present to your four squires of the gift I 
presented to you. I should like to know, if this be true, 
why you did so, and if the gift were not agreeable to you." 
— "Yes, my lord," answered Lord James, "it was most 
agreeable to me ; and I will tell you the reasons which 
induced me to bestow it on my squires. Thesv. four 
squires who are here have long and loyally served me on 
many great and dangerous occasions ; and, until the day 
that I made them this present, I had not anyway rewarded 
them for all their services ; and never in this life were they 
of such help to me as on that day. I hold myself mucli 
bound to them for what they did at the battle of Poitiers ; 
for, dear sir, I am but a single man, and can do no more 

254 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

than my powers admit ; but through their aid and assist- 
ance I have accomphshed my vow, which for a long time 
I had made, and by their means was the first combatant, 
and should have paid for it with my life if they had not 
been near to me. When, therefore, I consider their cour- 
age and the love they bear to me, I should not have been 
courteous nor grateful if I had not rewarded them. Thank 
God ! my lord, I have a sufficiency for my life to maintain 
my state; and wealth has never yet failed me, nor do I 
believe it ever will. If, therefore, I have in this acted 
contrary to your wishes, I beseech you, dear sir, to pardon 
me ; for you will be ever as loyally served by me, and my 
squires to whom I gave your present, as heretofore." 
The prince answered, " Sir James, I do not in the least 
blame you for what you have done, but, on the contra- 
ry, acknowledge your bounty to your squires, whom you 
praise so much. I readily confirm your gift to them, but 
I shall insist upon your accepting of six hundred marks 
upon the same terms and conditions as the former gift." 

The Prince of Wales and his army kept advancing with- 
out meeting any obstacle ; and, having passed through 
Poitou and Saintonge, came to Blaye, where he crossed 
the Garonne, and arrived in the good city of Bordeaux. It 
is not possible to relate all the feasts and entertainments 
which the citizens and clergy of Bordeaux made for the 
prince, and with what joy they received him and the King 
of France. The prince conducted the king to the monas- 
tery of St. Andrew, where they were both lodged ; the king 
on one side, and the prince on the other. The prince pur- 
chased from the barons, knights, and squires of Gascony 
the ransoms of the greater part of the French earls who 
were there, and paid ready money for them. There were 
many meetings and disputes among the knights and squires 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 255 

of Gascony, and others, relative to the capture of the King 
of France. On this account Denys de Morbeque truly and 
by right of arms claimed him. He challenged another 
squire of Gascony, named Bernard de Trouttes, who had 
declared that he had an equal right to him. There was 
much disputing between them before the prince and the 
barons present ; and, as they had engaged to fight each 
other, the prince put them under an arrest until they 
should be arrived in England, and forbade any thing 
more being said on the subject till they were in the pres- 
ence of the king his father. However, as the King of 
France gave every assistance to Sir Denys in support 
of his claim, and leaned more to him than to any of the 
other claimants, the prince ordered two thousand nobles 
to be given privately to Sir Denys in order to enable him 
the better to support his rank. 

Soon after the prince's arrival at Bordeaux the Cardinal 
de Perigord came thither, as, it was said, ambassador from 
the pope. It was upward of a fortnight before the prince 
would speak to him, on account of the castellan of Am- 
posta and his people having been engaged against him at 
the battle of Poitiers. The prince believed that the car- 
dinal had sent them thither ; but the cardinal, through 
the means of his relations, the Lord of Chaumont, the 
Lord of Montf errant, and the Captal of Buch, gave such 
good reasons for his conduct to the prince, that he admitted 
him to an audience. Having obtained this, he exculpated 
himself so clearly that the prince and his council were 
satisfied, and he regained the place he before held in the 
prince's affection. All his people were set at liberty at 
moderate ransoms : the castellan's amounted to ten thou- 
sand francs, which he paid. The cardinal soon after 
began to touch upon the deliverance of King John ; but 

256 Froissart's Chronicles. 

I shall say little on that head, as nothing was done in the 
business. The prince, with his Gascons and English, 
remained all that winter at Bordeaux, where was much 
feasting and merriment; and they foolishly expended the 
gold and silver they had gained. In England also there 
were great rejoicings when the news arrived of the affair 
of Poitiers and of the defeat of the French ; solemn 
thanksgivings were offered up in all the churches, and 
bonfires made in every town and village. Those knights 
and squires who returned to England after having been 
in this battle were honored in preference to any others. 


The Prince of Wales conducts the King of France from Bor- 
deaux TO England. 

WHEN the season was sufficiently advanced, and 
every thing was ready for the prince's departure, 
he sent for the great barons of Gascony. He then in- 
formed them of his intention of going to England ; that 
he should take some of them with him, and the rest he 
should leave in different parts of the province to guard 
the frontiers against the French, and should put all the 
cities and castles under their management, as if they were 
their own property. After this he nominated four of them 
as governors of the country until his return, — the Lords 
d'Albret, de I'Esparre, de Pumiers, and de Rosem. This 
being done, the prince embarked on board a handsome 
ship, and took with him a great many Gascons : among 
them were the Captal de Buch, Sir Aymery de Tarse, the 
Lord de Tarse, the Lord de Landuras, the Lord de Muci- 
dent, the Souldich de la Trane, and many others. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 257 

The King of France was in a ship by himself, in order 
that he might be more at his ease. In the fleet there were 
five hundred men at arms and two thousand archers to 
guard against any accidents at sea, and also because the 
prince had been informed before he left Bordeaux that the 
three estates who then governed France had raised two large 
armies, which were posted in Normandy and at Crotoy to 
meet the English and to carry off the king; but they saw 
nothing of them. They were eleven days and nights at sea; 
and on the twelfth they arrived at Sandwich, where they dis- 
embarked, and took up their quarters in the town and neigh- 
borhood. They remained there two days to refresh them- 
selves, and on the third set out and came to Canterbury. 

When the King of England was informed of their 
arrival, he gave orders for the citizens of London to make 
such preparations as were suitable to receive so great a 
prince as the King of France ; upon which they all dressed 
themselves very richly in companies, and the different 
manufactories of cloth appeared with various pageants. 
The king and prince remained one day at Canterbury, 
where they made their offerings to the shrine of St. 
Thomas. On the morrow they rode to Rochester, where 
they reposed themselves. The third day they came to 
Dartford, and the fourth to London, where they were 
received with every honor and distinction, as indeed they 
had been by all the chief towns on their road. 

The King of France, as he rode through London, was 
mounted on a white steed with very rich furniture, and 
the Prince of Wales on a little black hackney by his side. 
He rode through London, thus accompanied, to the palace 
of the Savoy, which was part of the inheritance of the 
Duke of Lancaster. There the King of France kept his 
household for some time ; and there he was visited by the 

258 Froiss art's Chronicles. 

King and Queen of England, who often entertained him 
sumptuously, and afterwards were very frequent in their 
visits, consoling him all in their power. The Cardinals 
de Perigord and St. Vital soon after came to England 
by command of Pope Innocent VI. They endeavored 
to make peace between the two kingdoms, which they 
labored hard to effect, but without success. However, by 
some fortunate means they procured a truce between the 
two kings and their allies, to last until St. John the Bap- 
tist's Day, 1359. The Lord Philip de Navarre and his 
allies, the Countess of Montfort, and the Duchy of 
Brittany, were excluded from this truce. 

Shortly afterwards the King of France and all his 
household were removed from the Palace of Savoy to 
Windsor Castle, where he was permitted to hunt and 
hawk, and take what other diversions he pleased in that 
neighborhood, as well as the Lord Philip his son. The 
rest of the French lords remained at London ; but they 
visited the king as often as they pleased, and were pris- 
oners on their parole of honor. 


The Arciipriest assejieles a Company of ]\Ien at Arms. — He is 
much honored at avignon. 

ABOUT this period,* a knight named Sir Arnold de 
Cervole, but more commonly called the archpriest, 
collected a large body of men at arms, who came from all 

* After the battle of Poitiers tlie wretched land of France was tormented 
by all the ills of lawlessness. This chapter, and the next three, particularly 
those describing the Jacquerie, will show every boy the frenzies to which a 
people may be driven when the law is weak. In this case the arm of the 
law — King John — was wholly lacking in France. — Ed. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 259 

parts, seeing that their pay would not be continued in 
France, and thai, since the capture of the king, there was 
not any probabihty of their gaining more in that country. 
They marched first into Provence, where they took many 
strong towns and castles, and ruined the country by their 
robberies, as far as Avignon. Pope Innocent VI., who 
resided in Avignon, was much alarmed, as not knowing 
what might be the intentions of the archpriest, the leader 
of these forces ; and for fear of personal insult he and 
the cardinals kept their household armed day and night. 
When the archpriest and his troops had pillaged all the 
country, the pope and clergy entered into treaty with him. 
Having received proper security, he and the greater part 
of his people entered Avignon, where he was received 
with as much respect as if he had been son to the King of 
France. He dined many times with the pope and cardi- 
nals, who gave him absolution from all his sins ; and at 
his departure they presented him with forty thousand 
crowns to distribute among his companions. These men 
therefore marched away to different places, following, 
however, the directions of the archpriest. 


A Welshman, of the Name of Ruffin, commands a Troop of the 
FREE Companies. 

AT this time, also, there was another company of men 
at arms, or robbers, collected from all parts, who 
stationed themselves between the rivers Loire and Seine, 
so that no one dared to travel between Paris and Orleans, 
nor between Paris and Montargis, or even to remain in 

26o Froissart's Chronicles. 

the country. The inhabitants on the plains had all fled 
to Paris and Orleans. This company had chosen for 
their leader a Welshman named Rufifin, whom they had 
knighted, and who acquired such immense riches as could 
not be counted. These companies advanced one day 
near to Paris, another day toward Orleans, another time to 
Chartres ; and there was no town nor fortress but what 
was taken and pillaged, excepting such as were strongly 

They rode over the country in parties of twenty, thirty, 
or forty, meeting with none to check their pillage ; while, 
on the seacoast of Normandy, there were still a greater 
number of English and Navarrois, plunderers and rob- 
bers. Sir Robert Knolles was their leader, who conquered 
every town and castle he came to, as there was no one to 
oppose him. Sir Robert had followed this trade for some 
time, and by it gained upward of one hundred thousand 
crowns. He kept a great many soldiers in his pay ; and, 
being very liberal, he was cheerfully followed and obeyed. 


The Provost of the Merchants of Paris kills three Knights in 
THE Apartment of the Prince. 

DURING the time that the three estates governed the 
kingdom, all sorts of people united themselves to- 
gether, under the name of Free Companies : they made 
war upon every man that was worth robbing. I must here 
inform you that the nobles and prelates of the realm and 
church began to be weary of the government and regula- 
tions of the three estates : they therefore permitted the 

Froissart^s Chronicles. 261 

provost of the merchants of Paris to summon some of the 
citizens, because they were going greater lengths than 
they approved of. 

It happened one day, when the regent of France was in 
his palace at Paris, with many knights, nobles, and prel- 
ates, that the provost of the merchants collected also a 
great number of the common people of Paris, who were 
devoted to him, all wearing caps similar to his own, that 
they might know each other ; and, attended by this crowd, 
the provost came to the palace. He entered the apart- 
ment of the duke,* and demanded of him, in an insolent 
manner, to take the management of the kingdom of 
France, and to govern it wisely (since it would become his 
by inheritance), that all those free companies who at pres- 
ent were overrunning the country might be prevented 
from doing further mischief. The duke replied that he 
would very willingly comply with his request if he had the 
means to carry it into execution, but that it more properly 
belonged to those who had raised and received the imposts 
due to the realm to perform it. I cannot pretend to say 
how it happened ; but words increased so much, and with 
such warmth, that at last three of the principal counsellors 
of the duke were slain, and so near to him that their blood 
flew over his robe : he himself was in very great danger, 
but they had put one of their caps on his head, and he 
consented to pardon the death of his three knights. Two 
of them were knights of arms, and the other of laws. 
Their names were, the Lord Robert de Clermont, a gal- 
lant and magnificent knight, and the Lord dc Conflans: 
the knight of laws was the Lord Simon dc Buci. 

* Of Normandy. — Ed. 

262 Froissart^s Chronicles. 


The Commencement of the infamous Jacquerie of Beauvoisis. 

SOON after the deliverance of the King of Navarre 
out of prison, a marvellous and great tribulation befell 
the kingdom of France, in Beauvoisis, Brie, upon the river 
Marne, in the Laonnois, and in the neighborhood of Sois- 
sons. Some of the inhabitants of the country towns 
assembled together in Beauvoisis, without any leader ; 
they were not at first more than one hundred men. They 
said that the nobles of the kingdom of France, knights, 
and squires, were a disgrace to it, and that it would be a 
very meritorious act to destroy them all ; to which proposi- 
tion every one assented, and added. Shame befall him that 
should be the means of preventing the gentlemen from 
being wholly destroyed ! They then, without further coun- 
sel, collected themselves in a body, and with no other arms 
than the staves, shod with iron, which some had, and 
others with knives, marched to the house of a knight who 
lived near, and, breaking it open, murdered the knight, his 
lady, and all the children, both great ai^d small : they then 
burnt the house. 

After this their second expedition was to the strong 
castle of another knight, which they took. They then 
murdered the lady, her daughter, and the other children, 
and last of all the knight himself, with much cruelty. 
They destroyed and burnt his castle. They did the like 
to many castles and handsome houses ; and their numbers 
increased so much that they were in a short time upward 
of six thousand. Wherever they went, they received addi- 

Froissarfs Chrofiicles. 263 

tions, for all of their rank in life followed them, while 
every one else fled, carrying off with them their ladies, 
damsels, and children, ten or twenty leagues distant, where 
they thought they could place them in security, leaving 
their houses with all their riches in them. 

These wicked people, without leader and without arms, 
plundered and burnt all the houses they came to. He 
who committed the most atrocious actions, and such as no 
human creature would have imagined, was the most ap- 
plauded, and considered as the greatest man among them. 
I dare not write the horrible and inconceivable atrocities 
they committed. They had chosen a king among them, 
who came from Clermont in Beauvoisis ; he was elected 
as the worst of the bad, and they denominated him Jacques 
Bonhomme.* These wretches burnt and destroyed in the 
county of Beauvoisis, and at Corbie, Amiens, and Mont- 
didier, upward of sixty good houses and strong castles. By 
the acts of such traitors in the country of Brie and there- 
about, it behooved every lady, knight, and squire, having 
the means of escape, to fly to Meaux, if they wished to 
preserve themselves from being insulted and afterwards 
murdered. The Duchess of Normandy, the Duchess of 
Orleans, and many other ladies, had adopted this course 
to save themselves. These cursed people thus supported 
themselves in the countries between Paris, Noyon, and 
Soissons, and in all the territory of Coucy, in the county 
of Valois. In the bishoprics of Noyon, Laon, and Sois- 
sons, there were upward of one hundred castles, and good 
houses of knights and squires, destroyed. 

* That is, Jack Goodman. — Ed. 

264 Froissarfs Chronicles. 


The Battle of Meaux in Erie, where the Villains are discom- 
fited BY THE Earl of Foix and the Captal of Buch. 

AT the time these wicked men were overrunning the 
country, the Earl of Foix, and his cousin the Captal 
of Buch, were returning from a croisade in Prussia. They 
,were informed, on their entering France, of the distres.s 
-the nobles were in ; and they learnt at the city of Cha- 
lons, that the Duchess of Orleans, and three hundred 
other ladies, under the protection of the Duke of Orleans, 
.were fled to Meaux on account of these disturbances. 
The two knights resolved to go to the assistance of these 
ladies, and to re-enforce them with all their might, notwith- 
standing the, Captal was attached to the English; but at 
that time there was a truce between the two kings. They 
might have in their company about sixty lances. They 
were most cheerfully received, on their arrival at Meaux, 
"by the ladies and damsels; for these Jacks and peasants 
of Brie had heard what number of ladies, married and 
unmarried, and young children of quality, were in Meaux: 
they had united themselves with those of Valois, and were 
on their road thither. On the other hand, those of Paris 
had also been informed of the treasures Meaux contained, 
and had set out from that place in crowds. Having met 
the others, they amounted together to nine thousand men : 
their forces were augmenting every step they advanced. 

They came to the gates of the town, which the inhab- 
itants opened to them, and allowed them to enter: they 
did so in such numbers that all the streets were quite 


Froissarfs CJironicles. 

filled as far as the market-place, which is tolerably strong, 
but it required to be guarded, though the river Marne 
nearly surrounds it. The noble dames who were lodged 
there, seeing such multitudes rushing toward them, were 
exceedingly frightened. On this the two lords and their 
company advanced to the gate of the market-place, which 
they had opened, and marching under the banners of the 
Earl of Foix and Duke of Orleans, and the pennon of the 
Captal of Buch, posted themselves in front of this peas- 
antry, who were badly armed. When these banditti per- 
ceived such a troop of gentlemen, so well equipped, sally 
forth to guard the market-place, the foremost of them 
began to fall back. The gentlemen then followed them, 
using their lances and swords. When they felt the weight 
of their blows, they, through fear, turned about so fast, 
they fell one over the other. All manner of armed per- 
sons then rushed out of the barriers, drove them before 
them, striking them down like beasts, and clearing the 
town of them ; for they kept neither regularity nor order, 
slaying so many that they were tired. They flung them 
in great heaps into the river. In short, they killed upward 
of seven thousand. Not one would have escaped, if they 
had chosen to pursue them further. 

On the return of the men at arms, they set fire to the 
town of Meaux, and burnt it ; and all the peasants they 
could find were shut up in it, because they had been of the 
party of the Jacks. Since this discomfiture which hap- 
pened to them at Meaux, they never collected again in 
any great bodies ; for the young Enguerrand de Coucy 
had plenty of gentlemen under his orders, who destroyed 
them, wherever they could be met with, without mercy. 


Coronation of King Charles of France. 

AS you may well imagine, nothing was spared by the 
nobility and great lords to add to the magnifijcence 
of the coronation of the young King Charles f of France, 
;vho was crowned at Rheims on a Sunday, in the twelfth 
^ear of his age, in the year 1380. At this solemnity there 
^vere many high and mighty lords. 

The young king made his entry into the city of Rheims 
on the Saturday, handsomely attended by the great lords, 
nobility, and minstrels, at vespers. In particular, there 

* Froissart's Chronicles having been composed in four volumes, the pecu- 
liar nature of his work makes it well to preserve this division, aside from the 
general advantage of giving in unaltered form, so far as possible, the parts 
presented. — Ed. 

t This is King Charles the Sixth of France, called "the Maniac." The 
narrative has here advanced twenty-four years since we left King John in 
England, a prisoner, after the battle of Poitiers. John has died, and been 
succeeded by Charles V., — "the Wise," — who has reigned sixteen years, 
and died. We now go on to see how his successor, young Charles the Sixth, 
fares in his wars with Philip von Artaveld to recover the rights of the Earl 
of Flanders. I have chosen these special chapters because they give us 
lively pictures of manners and customs among a different people from those 
illustrated by the selections of the first book. The insurrection of Wat 
Tyler, of which Froissart gives such a lively account in this book, ought 
really to begin these first chapters, since it occurred in 1378, — two years 
before the coronation of King Charles, — in the reign of Richard II of Eng- 
land. The period covered by my extracts from this second book is therefore 
from 1378 to 1382, when the battle of Rosbecq was fought. — Ed. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 267 

were upward of thirty trumpets, which preceded him, and 
sounded so clear it was quite marvellous to hear them. 
There were also a great many other young squires, chil- 
dren of the great barons of France, whom the king on the 
morrow, being the day of his coronation, created knights. 
This Saturday the king heard vespers in the church of Our 
Lady, and performed his vigils in that church, according 
to the custom of those times, the greater part of the night. 
All the youths desirous of knighthood attended him, and 
did the same. 

On the Sunday, which was All Saints' Day, the church 
of Our Lady was very richly decorated for the coronation ; 
so much so, that it could not possibly have been better 
ordered. The Archbishop of Rheims, after having said 
mass with great solemnity, consecrated the king with the 
holy ampulla with which St. Remy had anointed Clovis, 
the first Christian king of the French. 

Before the consecration, the king created, in front of 
the altar, all those young squires, knights. The office of 
mass was afterwards chanted by the archbishop, the king 
being clothed in his royal robes, and seated on an elevated 
throne, adorned with cloth of gold ; and all the young 
knights were placed on low benches, covered also with the 
same, at his feet. Li this state did they remain the whole 
day. The new constable. Sir Oliver de Clisson, was pres- 
ent : he had been named constable a few days prior to this 
ceremony, and performed well his charge, and every thing 
belonging to it. The principal barons of France were 
also there, so richly dressed it would be tedious to relate. 
The king was seated in royal majesty, with a crown on his 
head rich and precious beyond measure. The church of 
Our Lady at Rheims was so much crowded during this 
ceremony that one could not turn one's foot. I have 

2 68 Froissart's Chronicles. 

heard also, that at this accession of the young king to the 
throne, in order to please the people of France, all imposi- 
tions, aids, taxes, subsidies, and other levies, which had 
displeased and had much oppressed them, were abolished, 
greatly to the joy of the subjects. 

After mass they went to the palace ; but, as the hall 
was too small for such numbers, they erected in the court 
of the palace a large covered stage, on which the dinner 
was served. The king was seated with his five uncles of 
Brabant, Anjou, Berry, Burgundy, and Bourbon ; but, 
though they were at his table, they were at a distance 
from him. The Archbishop of Rheims and other prelates 
were on his right hand. He was served by the great bar- 
ons, the Lord de Coucy, the Lord de Clisson, Sir Guy de 
la Tremouille, the Lord High Admiral, and several others, 
on handsome horses, covered and decorated with gold bro- 
cade. The whole day passed in ceremonies. On the 
morrow many of the great barons took leave of the king 
and his uncles, and returned to their own country. The 
king went that day to dinner at the abbey of St. Thierry, 
two leagues from Rheims ; for those monks are bound to 
give him this entertainment, and the city of Rheims to 
provide for the coronation of the king. Thus ended this 
noble feast. He returned to Paris, where he was grandly 
feasted by the Parisians at his entrance. 


A Combat between an "English and a French Squire. 

WE will now speak of certain knights and squires 
who returned to Cherbourg by land, and relate 
what befell them on the road. The Constable of France, 

Froissart's Chronicles. 269 

who at that time resided at Chateau Josselin, seven leagues 
from Vannes, had granted passports to some English and 
Navarre knights of the garrison of Cherbourg, who had 
served under the Earl of Buckingham. Among others 
were Sir John Harlestonc, governor of Cherbourg, Sir 
Evan Fitzwarren, Sir William Clinton, and Sir John Bur- 
ley. They set out from Vannes, following the road to 
Chateau Josselin, for it was in their route. On their 
arrival they took up their quarters in the town below the 
castle, not intending more than to dine and continue their 
journey. When they had dismounted at the inn, like 
travellers who wished to repose themselves, the knights 
and squires of the castle came to visit them as brother- 
soldiers, who always see each other with pleasure, partic- 
ularly the French and English. Among the French there 
was a squire of great renown in arms, who belonged to 
John de Bourbon, Count de la Marche, the nearest to his 
person of all his squires, and whom he loved the most : 
his name was John Boucmel. He had formerly been in 
garrison in Valogne with Sir William des Bordes, and in 
his expedition against Cherbourg. During that time he 
had often had words with an English squire called Nicho- 
las Clifford, who was then present, respecting a tilting- 
match. In the course of the conversation which these 
French knights and squires held at the inn with the 
English, John Boucmel, recollecting Clifford, cried out, 
" Nicholas Clifford ! ah ! Nicholas, Nicholas, we have 
often wished and sought to perform a tilting-match ; but 
we never could find fit opportunity or place for it. Now, 
as we are here before my lord constable and those gentle- 
men, let us perform it : I therefore demand from you three 
courses with a lance." — "John," replied Nicholas, "you 
know that wc are here but as travellers on our road, under 

270 Froissart's Chronicles. 

the passport of my lord constable : what you ask from me 
cannot now be complied with, for I am not the principal 
in the passport, but under the command of these knights 
whom you see. If I were to stay behind, they would set 
out without me." — "Ha, Nicholas, do not make such 
excuses as these : let your friends depart, if they please, 
for I give you my promise, that, as soon as our tilt shall 
be over, I will conduct you myself within the gates of 
Cherbourg without loss or peril, as I can depend on my 
lord constable's good-will." 

Nicholas said, " Now, suppose it to be as you say, and 
that I place my confidence in being safely conducted by 
you, yet you see we are travelling through the country 
without arms of any sort ; therefore, if I were willing to 
arm myself, I have not wherewithal to do so." John re- 
plied, " You shall not excuse yourself that way, for I will 
tell you what I will do: I have plenty of arms at my coni- 
mand, and will order different sorts to be brought to the 
place where we shall tilt ; and when all are laid out you 
shall examine them, and consider which will suit you best, 
for I will leave the choice to you ; and when you shall 
have chosen I will then arm myself." 

When Nicholas saw himself so earnestly pressed, he 
was ashamed that those present should have heard it, and 
thought that since John made such handsome offers, he 
could not in honor refuse them ; for John still added, 
" Make whatever arrangements you please, I will agree to 
them sooner than we should not have a tilting-match." 
Nicholas then said he would consider of it, and before his 
departure he would make him acquainted with his resolu- 
tion ; adding, " If it will not be possible for me to comply 
with your request at this place, and if my lords, under 
whom I am, should be unwilling to assent to it, on my 

Froissart's CJironicles. 271 

return to Cherbourg, if you will come to Valognc, and 
signify to me your arrival, I will immediately hasten 
thither, and deliver you from your engagement." — "No, 
no," said John ; "seek not for excuses : I have offered you 
such handsome proposals, that you cannot in honor depart 
without running a tilt with me, according to the demand I 
make." Nicholas was more enraged than before ; for he 
thought, and true it was, that he by such a speech greatly 
outraged his honor. Upon this the French returned to 
the castle, and the English to their inn where they dined. 

When these knights had got to the castle, you may sup- 
pose they were not silent on the words which had passed 
between John Boucmel and Nicholas Clifford, insomuch 
that the constable heard of them. He considered a short 
time ; and, when the knights and squires of the country 
who were with him entreated him to interest himself that 
this combat might be fought, he willingly promised it. 
The English knights and squires, wishing to pursue their 
journey after dinner, went to the castle to wait on the con- 
stable ; for he was to give them seven knights to escort 
them the whole road through Brittany and Normandy, as 
far as Cherbourg. 

When they were arrived at the castle, the constable 
received them very amicably, and then said, " I put you 
all under arrest, and forbid you to depart hence this day. 
To-morrow morning, after mass, you shall witness the com- 
bat between your squire and ours, and then you shall dine 
with me. Dinner over, you shall set out, and I will give 
you good guides to conduct you to Cherbourg." They 
complied with his requests, and, having drank of his wine, 
returned to their inn. Now the two squires consulted 
together, for it was fixed they should on the morrow morn- 
ing engage without fail. When morning came they both 

272 Froissart 's Chron ides. 

heard mass, confessed themselves, and mounted their 
horses, the French being on one side, and the English on 
the other ; they rode together to a smooth plain on the out- 
side of the castle, where they dismounted. John Boucmel 
had provided there two suits of armor, according to his 
promise, which were good and strong, as the occasion de- 
manded. Having had them displayed, he told the English 
squire to make the first choice. " No," said the English- 
man, "I will not choose: you shall have the choice." 
John was therefore forced to choose first, which he did, 
and armed himself completely (in doing which he was 
assisted) as a good man at arms should be. Nicholas did 
the same. When they were both armed they grasped 
their spears, well made with Bordeaux steel, and of the 
same length ; and each took the position proper for him to 
run his course with their helmets and visors closed. They 
then advanced, and when they approached pretty near 
they lowered their spears, aiming them to hit each other. 
At the first onset Nicholas Clifford struck with his spear 
John Boucmel on the upper part of his breast ; but the 
point slipped off the steel breastplate, and pierced the 
hood, which was of good mail, and, entering his neck, cut 
the jugular vein, and passed quite through, breaking off at 
the shaft with the head ; so that the truncheon remained 
in the neck of the squire, who was killed, as you may sup- 
pose. The English squire passed on to his chair, where 
he seated himself. The French lords, who had seen the 
stroke, and the broken spear in his neck, hastened to him. 
They immediately took off his helmet, and drew out the 
spear. On its being extracted, he turned himself about 
without uttering a word, and fell down dead. The English 
squire hurried to his relief, crying out to have the blood 
stanched, but could not arrive before he expired. Nicho- 

Froissart 's C J iron ides. 273 

las Clifford was then exceedingly vexed for having by ill 
fortune slain a valiant and good man at arms. All who at 
that time could have seen the despair of the Count de la 
Marche, who had such an affection for his deceased squire, 
would surely have much pitied him : he was in the great- 
est distress, for he esteemed him above all others. 

The constable was present, and endeavored to comfort 
him, saying that such things were to be expected in 
similar combats. " It has turned out unfortunate for our 
squire, but the Englishman could not help it." He then 
addressed himself to the English : " Come, come to din- 
ner, for it is ready." The constable led them, as I may 
say against their wills, to the castle to dinner; for they 
wished not to go there on account of the death of the 

The Count de la Marche most tenderly bewailed his 
squire as he viewed his corpse. Nicholas Clifford directly 
retired to his lodgings, and would not by any means dine 
at the castle, as well for the great vexation he was in for 
this death as on account of his relations and friends; but 
the constable sent to seek for him, and it was necessary 
he should comply. On his arrival the constable said, "In 
truth, Nicholas, I can very well believe, and I see by your 
looks, that you are much concerned for the death of John 
Boucmel. But I acquit you of it, for it was no fault of 
yours; and, as God is my judge, if I had been in the 
situation you were in, you have done nothing more than I 
would have done, as it is better to hurt one's enemy than 
to be hurt by him. Such is the fate of war." 

They then seated themselves at the table, and these 
lords dined at their ease. After they had finished their 
repast, and drank their wine, the constable called the Lord 
Le Barrois dcs Barres, and said to him, " Barrois, prepare 

2 74 Froissart 's Chronicles. 

yourself : I will that you conduct these Englishmen as far 
as Cherbourg, and that you have opened to them every 
town and castle, and have given to them whatever they 
shall be in need of." Le Barrois replied, "My lord, I 
shall cheerfully obey your orders." 

The English then, taking leave of the constable and 
the knights with him, came to their lodgings, where every 
thing was packed up and ready. They mounted their 
horses, departed from Chateau Josselin, and rode straight 
to Pontorson and Mont St. Michel. They were under the 
escort of that gallant knight Le Barrois des Barres, who 
never quitted them in Brittany or Normandy until they 
had arrived in Cherbourg. 


The Populace of England rebel against the Nobility. 

THERE happened in England great commotions 
among the lower ranks of the people, by which 
England was near ruined without resource. Never was a 
country in such jeopardy as this was at that period, and 
all through the too great comfort of the commonalty. 
Rebellion was stirred up as it was formerly done in 
France by the Jacques Bons-hommes, who did much evil, 
and sore troubled the kingdom of France. It is marv-el- 
lous from what a trifle this pestilence raged in England. 
In order that it may serve as an example to mankind, I 
will speak of all that was done, from the information I 
had at the time on the subject. 

It is customary in England, as well as in several other 
countries, for the nobility to have great privileges over 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 275 

the commonalty, whom they keep in bondage : that is to 
say, they are bound by law and custom to plough the 
lands of gentlemen, to harvest the grain, to carry it home 
to the barn, to thresh and winnow it ; they are also bound 
to harvest the hay, and carry it home. All these services 
they are obliged to perform for their lords, and many 
more in England than in other countries. The prelates 
and gentlemen are thus served. In the counties of Kent, 
Essex, Sussex, and Bedford, these services are more op- 
pressive than in all the rest of the kingdom. 

The evil-disposed in these districts began to rise, say- 
ing they were too severely oppressed ; that at the begin- 
ning of the world there wer-e no slaves, and no one ought 
to be treated as such unless he had committed treason 
against his lord as Lucifer had done against God ; but 
they had done no such thing, for they were neither angels 
nor spirits, but men formed after the same likeness with 
their lords, who treated them as beasts. This they would 
not longer bear, but had determined to be free ; and, if 
they labored or did any other works for their lords, they 
would be paid for it. 

A crazy priest in the county of Kent, called John Ball, 
v/ho for his absurd preaching had been thrice confined 
in the prison of the Archbishop of Canterbury, was 
greatly instrumental in inflaming them with those ideas. 
He was accustomed every Sunday after mass, as the 
people were coming out of the church, to preach to them 
in the market-place, and assemble a crowd around him, to 
whom he would say, "My good friends, things cannot go 
on well in England, nor ever will, until every thing shall 
be in common; when there shall neither be vassal nor 
lord, and all distinctions levelled ; when the lords shall be 
no more masters than ourselves. How ill they have used 

2/6 Froissart's Chronicles. 

us! and for what reason do they thus hold us in bondage ? 
Are we not all descended from the same parents, Adam 
and Eve ? And what can they show, or what reasons 
give, why they should be more the masters than ourselves, 
except, perhaps, in making us labor and work for them to 
spend ? They are clothed in velvets and rich stuffs orna- 
mented with ermine and other furs, while we are forced to 
w^ear poor cloth; they have wines, spices, and fine bread, 
when we have only rye and the refuse of the straw, and, if 
we drink, it must be water ; they have handsome seats 
and manors, when we must brave the wind and rain in our 
labors in the field : but it is from our labor they have 
wherewith to support their pomp. We are called slaves, 
and if we do not perform our services we are beaten ; and 
we have not any sovereign to whom we can complain, or 
who wishes to hear us and do us justice. Let us go to 
the king, who is young, and remonstrate with him on our 
servitude ; telling him we must have it otherwise, or that 
we shall find a remedy for it ourselves. If we wait on 
him in a body, all those who come under the appellation 
of slaves, or are held in bondage, will follow us in the 
hopes of being free. When the king shall see us, we shall 
obtain a favorable answer, or we must then seek ourselves 
to amend our condition." 

These promises stirred up those in the counties of 
Kent, Essex, Sussex, and Bedford, and the adjoining 
country, so that they marched toward London ; and, when 
they arrived near, they were upward of sixty thousand. 
They had a leader called Wat Tyler, and with him were 
Jack Straw and John Ball : these three were their com- 
manders, but the principal was Wat Tyler. This Wat 
had been a tiler of houses, a bad man, and a great enemy 
to the nobility. When these wicked people first began to 


Froissart's Chronicles. 277 

rise, a]] London, except their friends, were very much 
frightened. The mayor and rich citizens assembled in 
council on hearing they were coming to London, and 
debated whether they should shut the gates, and refuse to 
admit them ; but, having well considered, they determined 
not to do so, as they should run the risk of having the 
suburbs burnt. 

The gates were therefore thrown open, when they 
entered in troops of one to two hundred, by twenties or 
thirties, according to the populousness of the towns they 
came from ; and as they came into London they lodged 
themselves. But it is a truth that full two-thirds of these 
people knew not what they wanted, nor what they sought 
for : they followed one another like sheep, or like the 
shepherds of old who said they were going to conquer the 
Holy Land, and afterwards accomplished nothing. In 
such manner did these poor fellows and vassals come to 
London from distances of a hundred and sixty leagues, 
but the greater part from those counties I have mentioned, 
and on their arrival they demanded to see the king. The 
gentlemen of the country, the knights, and the squires 
began to be alarmed when they saw the people thus rise ;. 
and if they were frightened they had sufficient reason, for 
less causes create fear. They began to collect together 
as well as they could. 

The same day that these wicked men of Kent were on 
their road toward London, the Princess of Wales, mother 
to the king, was returning from a pilgrimage to Canter- 
bury. She ran great risks from them ; for these scoun 
drels attacked her car, and caused much confusion, which 
greatly frightened the good lady lest they should do some 
violence to her or to her ladies. God, however, preserved 
her from this • and she came in one day from Canterbury 

278 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

to London without venturing to make any stop by the 
way. Her son Richard was this day in the Tower of 
London : thither the princess came, and found the king 
attended by the Earl of Salisbury, the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, Sir Robert de Namur, the Lord de Gomme- 
gines, and several more, who had kept near his person 
from suspicions of his subjects who were thus assembling 
without knowing what they wanted. This rebellion was 
well known to be in agitation in the king's palace before 
it broke out, and the country people had left their homes, 
to which the king applied no remedy, to the great aston- 
ishment of every one. In order that gentlemen and others 
may take example, and correct wicked rebels, I will most 
amply detail how this business was conducted. 


The Populace of England commit many Cruelties on those in 
Official Situations. — They send a Knight as Ambassador to 
THE King. 

ON Monday preceding the feast of the Holy Sacra- 
ment, in the year 1381, did these people sally forth 
from their homes, to come to London to remonstrate with 
the king, that all might be made free, for they would not 
there should be any slaves in England. At Canterbury 
they met John Ball (who thought he should find there the 
archbishop, but he was at London), Wat Tyler, and Jack 
Straw. On their entrance into Canterbury, they were 
much feasted by every one, for the inhabitants were of 
their way of thinking ; and, having held a council, they 
resolved to march to London, and also to send emissaries 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 279 

across the Thames to Essex, Suffolk, Bedford, and other 
counties, to press the people to march to London on that 
side, and thus, as it were, to surround it, which the king 
would not be able to prevent. It was their intention that 
all the different parties should be collected together on 
the feast of the Holy Sacrament, or on the following day. 

On Corpus Christi Day, King Richard heard mass in 
the Tower of London, with all his lords, and afterwards 
entered his barge, attended by the Earls of Salisbury, 
Warwick, and Suffolk, with other knights. He rowed 
down the Thames toward Rotherhithe, a manor belonging 
to the crown, where were upward of ten thousand men, 
who had come from Blackheath to see the king and to 
speak to him. When they perceived his barge approach, 
they set up such shouts and cries as if all the devils in 
hell had been in their company. 

W^hen the king and his lords saw this crowd of peo- 
ple, and the wildness of their manner, there was not one 
among them so bold and determined but felt alarmed : the 
king was advised by his barons not to land, but to have 
his barge rowed up and down the river. " What do ye 
wish for.''" demanded the king: "I am come hither to 
hear what you have to say." Those near him cried out 
with one voice, "We wish thee to land, when we will 
remonstrate with thee, and tell thee more at our ease what 
our wants are." The Earl of Salisbury then replied for 
the king, and said, "Gentlemen, you are not properly 
dressed, nor in a fit condition for the king to talk with 

Nothing more was said ; for the king was desired to 
return to the Tower of London, from whence he had set 
out. When the people saw they could obtain nothing 
more, they were inflamed with passion, and went back to 

28o Froissarfs CJironicles. 

Blackheath, where the main body was, to relate the answer 
they had received, and how the king was returned to the 
Tower. They all then cried out, " Let us march instantly 
to London." They immediately set off, and in their road 
thither they destroyed the houses of lawyers, courtiers, 
and monasteries. Advancing into the suburbs of London, 
which were very handsome and extensive, they pulled 
down many fine houses : in particular, they demolished 
the prison of the king, called the Marshalsea, and set at 
liberty all those confined within it. They did much dam- 
age to the suburbs, and menaced the Londoners at the 
entrance of the bridge for having shut the gates of it, say- 
ing they would set fire to the suburbs, take the city by 
storm, and afterwards burn and destroy it. 

With respect to the common people of London, num- 
bers were of their opinions, and, on assembling together, 
said, "Why will you refuse admittance to these honest 
men .? They are our friends, and what they are doing is 
for our good." It was then found necessary to open the 
gates, when crowds rushed in, and ran to those shops 
which seemed well stored with provision : if they sought 
for meat or drink, it was placed before them, and nothing 
refused, but all manner of good cheer offered, in hopes of 
appeasing them. 

Their leaders, John Ball, Jack Straw, and Wat Tyler, 
then marched through London, attended by more than 
twenty thousand men, to the palace of the Savoy, which 
is a handsome building on the road to Westminster, situ- 
ated on the banks of the Thames, belonging to the Duke 
of Lancaster : they immediately killed the porters, pressed 
into the house, and set it on fire. Not content with com- 
mitting this outrage, they went to the house of the 
Knights Hospitalers of Rhodes, dedicated to St. John of 


Froissarfs Chronicles. 281 

Mount Carmel, which they burnt, together with their hos- 
pital and' church. They afterwards paraded the streets, 
and killed every Fleming they could find, whether in 
house, church, or hospital : not one escaped death. They 
broke open several houses of the Lombards, taking what- 
ever money they could lay their hands on, none daring to 
oppose them. They murdered a rich citizen called Rich- 
ard Lyon, to whom Wat Tyler had been formerly servant 
in France ; but, having once beaten this varlet, he had 
not forgotten it, and, having carried his men to his house, 
ordered his head to be cut off, placed upon a pike, and 
carried through the streets of London. Thus did these 
wicked people act like madmen ; and on this Thursday 
they did much mischief to the city of London. 

Toward evening they fixed their quarters in a square 
called St. Catherine's, before the Tower, declaring they 
would not depart thence until they should obtain from the 
king every thing they wanted, and have all their desires 
satisfied, and the Chancellor of England made to account 
with them, and show how the great sums which had been 
raised were expended ; menacing, that, if he did not ren- 
der such an account as was agreeable to them, it would be 
the worse for him. Considering the various ills they had 
done to foreigners, they lodged themselves before the 
Tower. You may easily suppose what a miserable situa- 
tion the king was in, and those with him ; for at times 
these rebellious fellows hooted as loud as if the devils 
were in them. 

About evening a council was held in the presence of 
the king, the barons who were in the Tower with him, Sir 
William Walworth the mayor, and some of the principal 
citizens, when it was proposed to arm themselves, and 
during the night to fall upon these wretches who were in 

282 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

the streets, and amounted to sixty thousand, while they 
were asleep and drunk, for then they might be killed like 
flies, and not one in twenty among them had arms. The 
citizens were very capable of doing this, for they had 
secretly received into their houses their friends and ser- 
vants, properly prepared to act. Sir Robert Knolles re- 
mained in his house, guarding his property, with more 
than sixscore companions completely armed, and would 
have instantly sallied forth. Sir Perducas d'Albreth was 
also in London at that period, and would have been of 
great service ; so that they could have mustered upward 
of eight thousand men, well armed. But nothing was 
done, for they were too much afraid of the commonalty 
of London ; and the advisers of the king, the Earl of 
Salisbury and others, said to him, " Sir, if you can ap- 
pease them by fair words, it will be so much the better, 
and good-humoredly grant them what they ask : for, should 
we begin what we cannot go through, we shall never be 
able to recover it : it will be all over with us and our 
heirs, and England will be a desert." This counsel was 
followed, and the mayor ordered to make no movement. 
He obeyed, as in reason he ought. In the city of London, 
with the mayor, there are twelve sheriffs, of whom nine 
were for the king and three for these wicked people, as it 
was afterwards discovered, and for which they then paid 

On Friday morning those lodged in the square before 
St. Catherine's, near the Tower, began to make them- 
selves ready ; they shouted much, and said, that, if the 
king would not come out to them, they would attack the 
ToAA^er, storm it, and slay all in it. The king was alarmed 
at these menaces, and resolved to speak with them : he 
therefore sent orders for them to retire to a handsome 

Froissart's Chronicles. 283 

meadow at Mile-end, where, in the summer, people go to 
amuse themselves, and that there the king would grant 
them their demands. Proclamation was made in the 
king's name for all those who wished to speak with him 
to go to the above-mentioned place, where he would not 
fail to meet them. 

The commonalty of the different villages began to 
march thither ; but all did not go, nor had they the same 
objects in view, for the greater part only wished for the 
riches and destruction of the nobles, and the plunder of 
London. This was the principal cause of their rebellion, 
as they very clearly showed ; for when the gates of the 
Tower were thrown open, and the king, attended by his 
two brothers, the Earls of Salisbury, of Warwick, of Suf- 
folk, Sir Robert de Namur, the Lords de Vertain and de 
Gommegines, with several others, had passed through 
them, Wat Tyler, Jack Straw, and John Ball, with upward 
of four hundred, rushed in by force, and, running from 
chamber to chamber, found the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
whose name was Simon, a valiant and wise man, and 
chancellor of England, who had but just celebrated mass 
before the king : he was seized by these rascals, and be- 
headed. The Prior of St. John's suffered the same fate ; 
and likewise a Franciscan friar, a doctor of physic, who 
was attached to the Duke of Lancaster, out of spite to his 
master ; and also a sergeant at arms of the name of John 
Laige. They fixed these four heads on long pikes, and 
had them carried before them through the streets of Lon- 
don : when they had sufficiently played with them, they 
placed them on London Bridge, as if they had been trai- 
tors to their king and country. 

These scoundrels entered the apartment of the princess, 
and cut her bed: which so much terrified her. that she 

Froissart's Chronicles. 

fainted, and in tliis condition was by lier servants and 
ladies carried to the river-side, when she was put into 
a covered boat, and conveyed to the house called the 
Wardrobe, where she continued that day and night like 
to a woman half dead, until she was comforted by the king 
her son, as you shall presently hear. 


The Nobles of England are in great Danger of being destroyed. 
— Three of the principal Leaders of the Rebels are punished, 
AND the Rest sent back to their Homes. 

WHEN the king was on his way to the place called 
Mile-end, without London, his two brothers, the 
Earl of Kent, and Sir John Holland, stole off and galloped 
from his company, as did also the Lord de Gommegines, 
not daring to show themselves to the populace at Mile-end 
for fear of their lives. 

On the king's arrival, attended by the barons, he found 
upward of sixty thousand men assembled from different 
villages and counties of England : he instantly advanced 
into the midst of them, saying in a pleasant manner, " My 
good people, I am your king and your lord : what is it 
you want.'' and what do you wish to say to me?" Those 
who heard him answered, "We wish thou wouldst make 
us free forever, us, our heirs and our lands, and that we 
should no longer be called slaves, nor held in bondage." 
The king replied, "I grant your wish: now, therefore, 
return to your homes and the places whence you came, 
.leaving two or three men from each village, to whom I 
^will . order letters to be given _ sealed with my seal, which 

Froissarfs Chroiiiclcs. 285 

thev shall carry back with every demand you have made 
fully granted; and, in order that you may be the more sat- 
isfied, I will direct that my banners shall be sent to every 
stewardship, castlewick, and corporation." These words 
greatly pleased the novices and well-meaning ones who 
were there, and knew not what they wanted, saying, " It 
is well said : we do not wish for more." The people were 
thus quieted, and began to return toward London. 

The king added a few words which pleased them much : 
" You, my good people of Kent, shall have one of my ban- 
ners ; and you also of Essex, Sussex, Bedford, Suffolk, 
Cambridge, Stafford, and Lincoln, shall each of you have 
one ; and I pardon you all for what you have hitherto 
done ; but you must follow my banners, and now return 
home on the terms I have mentioned." They unani- 
mously replied they would. Thus did this great assembly 
break up, and set out for London. The king instantly 
employed upward of thirty secretaries, who drew up the 
letters as fast as they could ; and, having sealed and deliv- 
ered them to these people, they departed, and returned to 
their own counties. 

The principal mischief remained behind : I mean Wat 
Tyler, Jack Straw, and John Ball, who declared that though 
the people were satisfied, they would not thus depart ; 
and they had more than thirty thousand who were of their 
mind. They continued in the city, without any wish to 
have their letters, or the king's seal ; but did all they 
could to throw the town into such confusion that the lords 
and rich citizens might be murdered, and their houses pil- 
laged and destroyed. Thp Londoners suspected this, and 
kept themselves at home, with their friends and servants, 
well armed and prepared, everv one according to his 

Froissart''s Chronicles. 

When the people had been appeased at Mile-end Green, 
and were setting off for their different towns as speedily as 
they could receive the king's letters, King Richard went 
to the Wardrobe, where the princess was in the greatest 
fear. He comforted her, as he was very able to do, and 
passed there the night. 

I must relate an adventure which happened to these 
clowns near Norwich, and to their leader, called William 
Lister, who was from the county of Stafford. On the 
same day these wicked people burnt the palace of the 
Savoy, the church and house of St. John, the hospital of 
the Templars, pulled down the prison of Newgate, and set 
at liberty all the prisoners. There were collected numer- 
ous bodies from Lincolnshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk, who 
proceeded on their march toward London, according to the 
orders they had received, under the direction of Lister. 

In their road they stopped near Norwich, and forced 
every one to join them, so that none of the commonalty 
remained behind. The reason why they stopped near 
Norwich was, that the governor of the town was a knight 
called Sir Robert Salle : he was not by birth a gentleman, 
but, having acquired great renown for his ability and cour- 
age. King Edward had created him a knight. He was the 
handsomest and strongest man in England. ■ Lister and 
his companions took it into their heads they would make 
this knight their commander, and carry him with them, in 
order to be the more feared. They sent orders to him to 
come out into the fields to speak with them, or they would 
attack and burn the city. The knight, considering it was 
much better for him to go to them than that they should 
commit such outrages, mounted his horse, and went out of 
the town alone to hear what they had to say. When they 
perceived him coming, they showed him every mark cf 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 287 

respect, and courteously entreated him to dismount and 
talk with them. He did dismount, and committed a great 
folly ; for when he had so done, having surrounded him, 
they at first conversed in a friendly way, saying, "Robert, 
you are a knight, and a man of great weight in this coun- 
try, renowned for your valor ; yet, notwithstanding all this, 
we know who you are : you are not a gentleman, but the 
son of a poor mason, just such as ourselves. Do you 
come with us, as our commander, and we will make so 
great a lord of you that one-quarter of England shall be 
under your command." 

The knight, on hearing them thus speak, was exceed- 
ingly angry ; he would never have consented to such a 
proposal; and, eying them with inflamed looks, answered, 
" Begone, wicked scoundrels and false traitors as you are ! 
Would you have me desert my natural lord for such a com- 
pany of knaves as you .? would you have me dishonor 
myself .'' I would much rather you were all hanged, for 
that must be your end." On saying this, he attempted to 
mount his horse ; but, his foot slipping from the stirrup, 
his horse took fright. They then shouted out, and cried, 
" Put him to death ! " When he heard this he let his horse 
go ; and, drawing a handsome Bordeaux sword, he began 
to skirmish, and soon cleared the crowd from about him, 
that it was a pleasure to see. Some attempted to close 
with him ; but with each stroke he gave he cut off heads, 
arms, feet, or legs. There were none so bold but were 
afraid ; and Sir Robert performed that day marvellous 
feats of arms. These wretches were upward of forty 
thousand ; they shot and flung at him such things, that, 
had he been clothed in steel instead of being unarmed, he 
must have been overpowered : however, he killed twelve 
of them, besides many whom he wounded. At last he 

Froissarf s Chro7iicles. 

was overthrown, when they cut off his legs and arms, and 
rent his body in piecemeal. Thus ended Sir Robert Salle, 
which was a great pity ; and, when the knights and squires 
in England heard of it, they were much enraged. 

On the Saturday morning the king left the Wardrobe, 
and went to Westminster, where he and all the lords 
heard mass in the abbey. In this church there is a 
statue of Our Lady in a small chapel, that has many vir- 
tues, and performs great miracles, in which the kings of 
England have much faith. The king, having paid his 
devotions and made his offerings to this shrine, mounted 
his horse about nine o'clock, as did the barons who were 
with him. They rode along the causeway to return to 
London; but when they had gone a little way he turned 
to a road on the left to go from London. 

This day all the rabble were again assembled, under 
the conduct, of Wat Tyler, Jack Straw, and John Ball, to 
parley at a place called Smithfield, where, every Friday, 
the horse-market is kept. They amounted to upward of 
twenty thousand, all of the same sort. Many more were 
in the city, breakfasting, and drinking Rhenish, Malmsey, 
and Madeira wines, in taverns and at the houses of the 
Lombards, without paying for any thing; and happy was 
he who could give them good cheer. Those who were 
collected in Smithfield had king's banners, which had been 
given to them the preceding evening ; and these repro- 
bates wanted to pillage the city the same day, their lead- 
ers saying that hitherto they had done nothing. "The 
pardons which the king has granted will not be of much 
use to us ; but, if we be of the same mind, we shall pil- 
lage this large, rich, and powerful town of London, before 
those from Essex, Suffolk, Cambridge, Bedford, War- 
wick, Reading, Lancashire, Arundel, Guilford, Coventry, 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 2 89 

Lynne, Lincoln, York, and Durham shall arrive ; for they 
are on the road, and we know for certain that Vaquier and 
Lister will conduct them hither. If we now plunder the 
city of the wealth that is in it, we shall have been before- 
hand, and shall not repent of so doing ; but, if we wait for 
their arrival, they will wrest it from us." To this opinion 
all had agreed, when the king appeared in sight, attended 
by sixty horse. He was not thinking of them, but in- 
tended to have continued his ride without coming into 
London : however, when he came before the Abbey of St. 
Bartholomew, which is in Smithfield, and saw the crowd 
of people, he stopped, and said he would not proceed until 
he knew what they wanted ; and, if they were troubled, he 
would appease them. 

The lords who accompanied him stopped also, as was 
but right since the king had stopped ; when Wat Tyler, 
seeing the king, said to his men, " Here is the king ; I 
will go and speak with him : do not you stir from hence 
until I give you a signal." He made a motion with his 
hand, and added, "When you shall see me make this sign, 
then step forward, and kill every one except the king ; but 
hurt him not, for he is young, and we can do what we 
please with him ; for by carrying him with us through 
England we shall be lords of it without any opposition." 
There was a doublet-maker of London called John Tide, 
who had brought sixty doublets, with which some of the 
clowns had dressed themselves ; and on his asking who 
was to pay, for he must have for them thirty good marks, 
Tyler replied, "Make thyself easy, man: thou shalt be 
well paid this day. Look to me for it : thou hast sufficient 
security for them." On saying this he spurred the horse 
on which he rode, and, leaving his men, galloped up to 
the king, and came so near that his horse's head touched 

290 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

the crupper of that of the king. The first words he said 
when he addressed the king were, " King, dost thou see 
all those men there?" — "Yes," replied the king: "why 
dost thou ask ? " — " Because they are all under my com- 
mand, and have sworn by their faith and loyalty to do 
whatever I shall order." — "Very well," said the king: 
"I have no objections to it." Tyler, who was only desir- 
ous of a riot, answered, "And thinkest thou, king, that 
those people and as many more who are in the city, also 
under my command, ought to depart without having had 
thy letters .-" Oh, no! we will carry them with us." — 
"Why!" replied the king, "so it has been ordered, and 
they will be delivered out one after the other ; but, friend, 
return to thy companions, and tell them to depart from 
London. Be peaceable and careful of yourselves ; for it 
is our determination that you shall all of you have your 
letters by villages and towns, as it had been agreed on." 

As the king finished speaking, Wat Tyler, casting his 
eyes around him, spied a squire attached to the king's 
person, bearing his sword. Tyler mortally hated this 
squire : formerly they had had words together when the 
squire ill-treated him. "What! art thou here.?" cried 
Tyler. "Give me thy dagger." — "I will not," said the 
squire : "why should I give it thee } " The king, turning 
to him, said, "Give it him, give it him;" which he did, 
though much against his will. When Tyler took it he 
began to play with it, and turn it about in his hand, and, 
again addressing the squire, said, "Give me that sword." 
— "I will not," replied the squire; "for it is the king's 
sword, and thou art not worthy to bear it who art but a 
mechanic; and if only thou and I were together thou 
wouldst not have dared to say what thou hast, for as large 
a heap of gold as this church." — "By my troth," answered 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 291 

Tyler, "I will not eat this day before I have thy head." 
At these words the mayor of London, with about twelve 
more, rode forward, armed under their robes, and, pushing 
through the crowd, saw Tyler's manner of behaving; upon 
which he said, " Scoundrel, how dare you thus behave in 
the presence of the king, and utter such words ? It is 
too impudent for such as thou." The king then began to 
be enraged, and said to the mayor, "Lay hands on him." 

While the king was giving this order, Tyler had ad- 
dressed the mayor, saying, " Hey ! in God's name, what I 
have said, does it concern thee.? What dost thou mean } " 
— "Truly," replied the mayor, who found himself sup- 
ported by the king, "does it become such a stinking 
rascal as thou art to use such speech in the presence of 
the king, thy natural lord 1 I will not live a day if thou 
pay not for it." Upon this he drew a kind of cimeter 
he wore, and struck Tyler such a blow on the head as 
felled him to his horse's feet. When he was down he was 
surrounded on all sides, so that his men could not see 
him ; and one of the king's squires, called John Stand- 
wich, immediately leaped from his horse, and, drawing a 
handsome sword which he bore, thrust it into his belly, 
and thus killed him. 

His men, advancing, saw their leader dead, when they 
cried out, "They have killed our captain : let us march to 
them, and slay the whole." On these words they drew up 
in a sort of battle-array, each man having his bent bow 
before him. The king certainly hazarded much by this 
action, but it turned out fortunate ; for, when Tyler was 
on the ground, he left his attendants, ordering not one to 
follow him. He rode up to these rebellious fellows, who 
were advancing to revenge their leader's death, and said to 
them, " Gentlemen, what are you about 1 You shall have 

292 Froissarfs Chro7iicles. 

no other captain but me : I am your king ; remain peacea- 
ble." When the greater part of them heard these words, 
they were quite ashamed, and those incHned to peace 
began to slip away. The riotous ones kept their ground, 
and showed symptoms of mischief, and as if they were 
resolved to do something. 

The king returned to his lords, and asked them what 
should next be done. He was advised to make for the 
fields ; for the mayor said that " to retreat or fly would be 
of no avail. It is proper we should act thus, for I reckon 
that we shall very soon receive assistance from London, 
— that is, from our good friends who are prepared and 
armed, with all their servants in their houses." While 
things remained in this state, several ran to London, and 
cried out, " They are killing the king ! They are killing 
the king and our mayor ! " Upon this alarm every man 
of the king's party sallied out toward Smithfield and to 
the fields whither the king had retreated ; and there were 
instantly collected from seven to eight thousand men in 

Among the first came Sir Robert Knolles and Sir 
Perducas d'Albreth well attended ; and several of the 
aldermen with upward of six hundred men at arms, and a 
powerful man of the city called Nicholas Bramber, the 
king's draper, bringing with him a large force, who, as 
they, came up, ranged themselves in order on foot on each 
side of him. The rebels were drawn up opposite them : 
they had the king's banners, and showed as if they in- 
tended to maintain their ground by offering combat. The 
king created three knights : Sir William Walworth, mayor 
of London, Sir John Standwich, and Sir Nicholas Bram- 
ber. The lords began to converse among themselves, 
saying, " What shall we do ? We see our enemies, who 

Froissart's Chronicles. 293 

would willingly have murdered us if they had gained the 
upper hand." Sir Robert Knowles advised immediately 
to fall on them and slay them ; but the king would not 
consent, saying, " I will not have you act thus : you shall 
go and demand from them my banners. We shall see how 
they will behave when you make this demand, for I will 
have them by fair or foul means." — " It is a good thought," 
replied the Earl of Salisbury. 

The new knights were therefore sent, who, on approach- 
ing, made sio'ns for them not to shoot, as they wished to 
speak with them. When they had come near enough to 
be heard, they said, " Now attend : the king orders you 
to send back his banners, and we hope he will have mercy 
on you." The banners were directly given up, and brought 
to the king. It was then ordered, under pain of death, 
that all those who had obtained the king's letters should 
deliver them up. Some did so, but not all. The king, on 
receiving them, had them torn in their presence. You 
must know that from the instarit when the king's banners 
were surrendered these fellows kept no order ; but the 
greater part, throwing their bows to the ground, took to 
their heels, and returned to London. 

Sir Robert Knolles was in a violent rage that they were 
not attacked, and the whole of them slain ; but the king 
would not consent to it, saying he would have ample 
revenge on them, — which in truth he afterwards had. 

Thus did these people disperse and run away on all 
sides. The king, the lords, and the army returned in 
good array to London, to their great joy. The king im- 
mediately took the road to the Wardrobe to visit the 
princess his mother, who had remained there two days 
and two nights under the greatest fears, as indeed she had 
cause. On seeing the king her son, she was mightily 

294 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

rejoiced, and said, " Ha, ha, fair son ! what pain and 
anguish have I not suffered for you this day!" — "Cer- 
tainly, madam," replied the king : " I am well assured of 
that; but now rejoice and thank God, for it behooves us 
to praise him, as I have this day regained my inheritance 
and the kingdom of England which I had lost." 

The king remained the whole day with his mother. 
The lords retired to their own houses, A proclamation 
was made through all the streets, that every person who 
was not an inhabitant of London, and who had not resided 
there for a whole year, should instantly depart ; for that, 
if there were any found of a contrary description on Sun- 
day morning at sunrise, they would be arrested as traitors 
to the king, and have their heads cut off. After this 
proclamation had been heard, no one dared to infringe 
it, but all departed instantly to their former homes quite 
discomfited. John Ball and Jack Straw were found hid- 
den in an old ruin, thinking to steal away ; but this they 
could not do, for they were betrayed by their own men. 
The king and the lords were well pleased with their seiz- 
ure : their heads were cut off, as was that of Tyler, and 
fixed on London Bridge in the place of those gallant 
men whom they beheaded on the Thursday. The news 
of this was sent through the neighboring counties, that 
those might hear of it who were on their way to London, 
according to the orders these rebels had sent them ; upon 
which they instantly returned to their homes without 
daring to advance farther. 

Fro issart 's C/i ron iclcs. 295 

Somtyme the worlde was so stedfast and stable, 

man's held 

That mannes worde was holde obhgacioun ; 

it false deceiving 

And now hyt is so fals and disceyvable 

deed (as concluding or binding a man) 

That worde and dede, as in conclusyoun, 

Is like nothing upside-down 

Ys lyke noothyng ; for turned up-so-doun 

all meed (gain) 

Is alle this worlde, for mede and wilfulnesse, 


That alle is loste for lakke of stedfastnesse. 

What maketh this worlde to be so variable 

(desire, that folk have, to be in dissension) 

But luste, that folke hav in dissensioun? 

among now held unfit 

For amonges us nowe a man is holde unhable, 

if (unless) can some coUubion 

But yf he kan, by somme coUusyoun, 


Do his neghbor wronge or oppressioun. 


What causeth this but wilfulle wrecchednesse, 

all is lack 

That alle ys loste for lakke of stedfastnesse ? 

Truth reason 

Trouthe is put doun, resoun is holden fable ; 

Virtue hath no 

Vertu hathe now noo dominacioun ; 

Pity is merciful 

Pitee exiled, noo man ys merciable ; 

Through covetousness blinded 

Thurgh covytyse is blente discrecioun ; 
The worlde hath made permutacioua 

From right from truth fickleness 

Fro ryht to wrong, fro trouthe to fikelcnesse, 
That alle ys lost for lakke of stedfastnesse. 

Fro is s art 's Chron ides. 

O Prince desire to be honourable ; 


Cherysshe thy folke, and hate extorsioun ; 


Suffre nothing that may be reprovable 

estate done 

To thyn estaate, doon in thy regioun; 


Shew forth the swerde of castigacioun ; 

Dread (fear) truth 

Drede God, do law, love trouthe and worthinesse, 

wed folk again 

And wedde thy folke ayeyne to stedfastnesse. 

The Earl of Flanders again lays Siege to Ghent. 

WHILE the affairs you have heard were passing in 
England, there was no intermission in the wars 
which the Earl of Flanders was carrying on against 
Ghent, and which those citizens waged against him. You 
know that Philip von Artaveld was chosen commander in 
Ghent, through the recommendation of Peter du Bois, who 
advised him, when in ofQce, to become cruel and wicked 
to be the more feared. Philip did not forget this doctrine, 
for he had not long been governor of Ghent before he had 
twelve persons beheaded in his presence : some said they 
were those who had been principally concerned in the 
murder of his father, and thus he revenged himself on 

Philip von Artaveld began his reign with great power, 
and made himself beloved and feared by many, more espe- 
cially by those who followed the profession of arms : for, 
to gain their favor, he refused them nothing; every thing 

Froissarfs Chi^onicles. 297 

was abandoned to them. I may be asked how the Ghent 
men were able to carry on this war ; and I will answer 
to the best of my ability, according to the information I 
received. They were firmly united among themselves, and 
maintained the poor, each according to his means : thus, 
by being so firmly united, they were of great force. Be- 
sides, Ghent, taken all together, is one of the strongest 
towns in the world, provided Brabant, Zealand, and Hol- 
land be not against it ; but, in case these countries were 
leagued with Flanders, they would be shut up, surrounded, 
and starved. 

This whole winter of 1382, the Earl and country of 
Flanders had so much constrained Ghent, that nothing 
could enter the place by land or water : he had persuaded 
the Duke Brabant and Duke Albert to shut up their coun- 
tries so effectually, that no provisions could be exported 
thence but secretly and with a great risk to those who 
attempted it. It was thought by the most intelligent, that 
it could not be long before they perished through famine, 
for all the storehouses of corn were empty, and the people 
could not obtain bread for money : when the bakers had 
baked any, it was necessary to guard their shops, for the 
populace who were starving would have broken them 
open. It was melancholy to hear these poor people (for 
men, women, and children of good substance were in this 
miserable plight) make their daily complaints and cries to 
Philip von Artaveld, their commander-in-chief. He took 
great compassion on them, and made several very good 
regulations, for which he was much praised. He ordered 
the granaries of the monasteries and rich men to be 
opened, and divided the corn among the poor at a fixed 
price. By such means he gave comfort to the town of 
Ghent, and governed it well. Sometimes there came to 

Fro is s art 's C/iron ides . 

them in casks flour and baked bread from Holland and 
Zealand, which were of great assistance ; for, had they not 
been thus succored by those countries, they would have 
been much sooner defeated. 

The Earl of Flanders determined to lay siege to Ghent 
once more, but with a much superior army to what he bad 
hitherto brought against it ; for he declared he would in- 
vade the Quatre Metiers, and burn and destroy them, as 
they had been too active in assisting Ghent. The earl 
therefore signified his intentions to all the principal towns 
in Flanders, that they might be ready in time. Immedi- 
ately after the procession at Bruges, he was to march from 
hence, to lay siege to Ghent and destroy it. He wrote 
also to those knights and squires who were dependent on 
him in Hainault, to meet him at Bruges at the appointed 
day, or even eight days before. 


The Earl of Flanders sends a Harsh Answer to those who 
wished to mediate a peace between him and ghent. 

NOTWITHSTANDING all these summons, levies, 
and orders, which the Earl of Flanders was issuing, 
the Duchess of Brabant, Duke Albert, and the Bishop of 
Liege exerted themselves so much, that a meeting of their 
councils, to consider of the means of establishing a peace, 
was ordered to be held in the city of Tournay. The Earl 
of Flanders, at the request of these lords and the Duchess 
of Brabant, although he intended to act contrary, gave his 
terms of accommodation ; and these conferences were fixed 
for the end of Easter, at Tournay, in the year 1382. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 299 

Twelve deputies came from the bishopric of Liege and 
the chief towns, with Sir Lambert de Perney, a very dis- 
creet knight. The Duchess of Brabant sent her council 
thither, and some of the principal inhabitants from the 
great towns. Duke Albert met likewise his council from 
Hainault, his bailiff, Sir Simon de Lalain, with others. 
All these came to Tournay in Easter-week ; and Ghent 
sent also twelve deputies, of whom Philip von Artaveld 
was the head. The inhabitants of Ghent had resolved to 
accede to whatever terms their deputies should agree on, 
with the exception that no one was to be put to death ; 
but that, if it pleased the earl their lord, he might banish 
from Ghent, and the country of Flanders, all those who 
were disagreeable to him, and whom he might wish to 
punish, without any possibility of their return. This 
resolution they had determined to abide by ; and Philip 
von Artaveld was willing, if he should have angered the 
earl ever so little during the time he was governor of 
Ghent, to be one of the banished men for life, out of the 
regard he had for the lower ranks of people. Certain it 
is, that, when he set out from Ghent for Tournay, men, 
women, and children cast themselves before him on their 
knees, and with uplifted hands besought him, that, at 
whatever cost it might be, he would bring them back 
peace ; and, from the pity he felt for them, he had agreed 
to act as I have just related. 

300 Froissarfs Chronicles. 


The Citizens of Ghent, after having heard from Philip von 
Artaveld the Terms of Peace which he had brought from 
the Conferences at Tournay, march out, to the Number of 
Five Thousand, to attack the Earl of Flanders in Bruges. 

WHEN Philip von Artaveld and his companions 
returned to Ghent, great crowds of the common 
people, who only wished for peace, were much rejoiced on 
his arrival, and hoped to hear from him good news. They 
went out to meet him, saying, "Ah, dear Philip von Arta- 
veld, make us happy : tell us what you have done, and 
how you have succeeded." Philip made no answer to 
these questions, but rode on, holding down his head : the 
more silent he was, the more they followed him, and were 
the more clamorous. Once or twice, as he was advancing 
to his house, he said, " Get you to your homes, and may 
God preserve you from harm ! To-morrow morning be in 
the market-place by nine o'clock, and there you shall hear 
every thing." As they could not obtain any other answer, 
the people were exceedingly alarmed. 

You may easily imagine, when the day so eagerly ex- 
pected was come, in which Philip was to report what had 
passed in the conferences at Tournay, that all the inhabit- 
ants of Ghent were early in the market-place. It was on 
a Wednesday morning,, and the time of meeting nine 
o'clock. Philip von Artaveld, Peter du Bois, Peter le 
Nuitre, Francis Atremen, and the other chiefs came there ; 
and, having entered the town-hall, they ascended the stair- 
case, when Philip, showing himself from the windows, 

Froissayt^s Chronicles. 301 

thus spoke : " My good friends, the Lord de Raseflez, the 
Lord de Gontris, Sir John Villames, and the provost of 
Harlebecque, came to Tournay, where they very graciously 
informed us of the will of the earl, and the only means of 
putting an end to this war. They declared his final terms 
for peace between him and the inhabitants of Ghent were, 
that every male inhabitant, excepting priests and monks, 
from the age of sixteen to that of sixty, should march out 
of the town in their shirts, with bare heads and feet, and 
halters about their necks, and should thus go two leagues 
or more to the plains of Burlesquans, where they would 
meet the Earl of Flanders, attended by such whom he 
may choose to bring with him ; and that, when he should 
see us in this situation, with joined hands, crying out for 
mercy, he would, if he pleased, take compassion on us. 
But I could not learn from his council, that there was the 
least plea of justice to put to death such numbers of 
people as would be there that day. Now consider if you 
will have peace on these terms." 

When Philip had done speaking, it was a melancholy 
sight to behold men, women, and children, bewailing, with 
tears, their husbands, fathers, brothers, and neighbors. 

Those who were near him, and had most distinctly heard 
what he had said, replied, " Ah, dear lord, we put our 
whole confidence in you : what would you advise us .'* for 
we will do whatever you think will be most for our advan- 
tage." — "By my faith, then," said Philip, " I would advise 
that we all march in arms against my lord. We shall find 
him at Bruges ; and, when he hears of our coming, he will 
sally forth, and fight with us ; for the pride of those in 
Bruges and about his person, who excite him day and 
night against us, will urge him to the combat. If God 
shall, through his mercy, grant that we gain the field, and 

3 o 2 Fj^o issa j^t 's Ch ron ides. 

defeat our enemies, our affairs will be instantly retrieved, 
and we shall be the most respected people in the universe. 
If we be defeated, we shall die honorably, and God will 
have pity on us ; and thus the remainder of the inhabit- 
ants of Ghent will escape and be pardoned by the earl 
our lord." 

At these words they all shouted out, "We will follow 
this plan, and no other ! " Philip then said, " My good 
gentlemen, since you are thus resolved, return home, and 
get ready your arms ; for in the course of to-morrow I am 
determined to march for Bruges : the remaining longer 
here will not be to our advantage. Within five days we 
shall know if we be to die, or to live with honor. I will 
order the constables of the different parishes to go from 
house to house, and choose the best armed and those most 
fit for the service." 

Immediately after the meeting broke up, and every one 
returned home to make ready, each according to his abili- 
ties. They kept the gates of the town so closely shut 
that no person whatever was suffered to come in or go out 
before Thursday afternoon, when those who were to march 
on the expedition were prepared, — in all about five thou- 
sand men, and not more. They loaded about two hun- 
dred carts with cannon and artillery, and only seven with 
provisions ; that is, five with bread and two with wine, for 
there were but two tuns of wine in the town. You may 
judge from this to what straits they had been reduced. 

It was a miserable spectacle to see those who went 
and those who remained. These last said to them, " Good 
friends, you see what you leave behind ; but never think 
of returning unless you can do so with honor, for you will 
not find any thing here. The moment we hear of your 
defeat or death, we will set fire to the town, and perish in 


Froissart' s Ciironicles. 

the flames, like men in despair." Those who were march- 
ing out repUed, by way of comforting them, "What you 
say is very just. Pray God for us; for we place our hopes 
in him, and trust he will assist you, as well as us, before 
our return." 

Thus did these five thousand men of Ghent march off 
with their slender stores, and encamped about a league 
from Ghent, but touched not their provision, taking up 
with what they could find in the country. On Friday 
they marched the whole day, and then meddled not with 
their stores ; but their scouts picked up some few things 
in the country, with which they made shift, and fixed their 
quarters that evening a long league from Bruges. They 
halted there, considering it a proper place to wait for their 
enemies, for there were in front two extensive marshes, 
which were a good defence on one side ; and they fortified 
themselves on the others with the carriages, and thus 

passed the night. 


The Order of Battle of the Ghent Men. — They defeat the 
Earl of Flanders and the Men of Bruges. — The Means ky 
which this was brought about. 

THE Saturday was a fine bright day; and, being the 
feast of the Holy Cross, the inhabitants of Bruges, 
according to custom, made their usual processions. News 
was soon brought to Bruges, that the Ghent army was 
near at hand ; so that every one began to murmur until 
the earl heard it, as well as those about his person. He 
was much surprised, and said, " Sec how the wickedness 

304 Froissarf s CJiroiiicles. 

of these mad and foolish people of Ghent leads them to 
their destruction : indeed, it is time this war should be put 
an end to." His knights and others instantly waited on 
him, whom he very graciously received, and said, " We 
will go and fight these wicked people : however, they 
show courage in preferring death by the sword rather than 
famine." They determined to send out three men at arms 
to examine the force and situation of the enemy. The 
Marshal of Flanders ordered three valiant squires on this 
service, whose names were Lambert de Lambres, Damas 
de Buffy, and John de Beart : they set out, mounted on 
the finest horses in the town, and advanced toward the 
Ghent army. While this was going forward, every person 
in Bruges made himself ready, and showed the most eager 
desire to sally forth and combat the men of Ghent ; of 
whom I will now say a word, and of the manner in which 
they had drawn themselves up. 

On the Saturday morning, Philip von Artaveld ordered 
his whole army to pay their devotions to God, and masses 
to be said in different places (for there were with them 
several monks), that every man should confess himself and 
make other becoming preparations, and that they should 
pray to God with that truth, as people looking to him 
alone for mercy. All this was done, and mass celebrated 
in seven different places. After each mass was a sermon, 
which lasted an hour and a half. The monks and priests 
endeavored, by their discourses, to- show the great simili- 
tude between them and the people of Israel, whom Pha- 
raoh, king of Egypt, detained so long in slavery ; and 
who, through God's grace, were delivered, and conducted 
by Moses and Aaron into the land of promise, while Pha- 
raoh and the Egyptians were drowned. "In like manner, 
my good people," preached the monks, " have you been 

Froissart's Chronicles. 305 

kept in bondage by your lord, the Earl of Flanders, and 
by your neighbors of Bruges, whom you are now to meet, 
and by whom you will, without doubt, be combated, for 
your enemies are in great numbers, and have little fear of 
your force. But do not you mind this ; for God, who can 
do all things, and is acquainted with your situation, will 
have mercy on you : therefore, think of nothing but what 
you have left behind, for you well know that every thing 
is lost if you be defeated. Sell yourselves well and val- 
iantly ; and, if you must die, die with honor. Do not be 
alarmed if great numbers issue forth from Bruges against 
you ; for victory is not to the multitude, but whither God 
shall please to send it, and by his grace it has been often 
seen, as well by the Maccabees as the Romans, that 
those who fought manfully, and confided in God, discom- 
fited the greater number. Besides, you have justice and 
reason on your side in this quarrel, which ought to make 
you feel yourselves bold and better comforted." In such 
words as these the priests had been ordered to preach to 
the army, and with these discourses they were well pleased. 
Three parts of them communicated, and all showed great 
devotion and much fear in God. 

After the sermons the whole army assembled round a 
small hill, on which Philip von Artaveld placed himself in 
order to be the better heard, and harangued them very ably, 
explaining to them every point in which they were justi- 
fied in this war; and how Ghent had frequently sought 
pardon from the earl, and never could obtain it without 
submitting to conditions too hard for the town and its 
inhabitants ; that now they had advanced so far, they could 
not retreat; and that, if they would consider, they would 
see nothing could be gained, were they to return, for all they 
had left behind were in sorrow and misery. They ought 

3o6 Froissari's Chronicles. 

not, therefore, to think of Ghent, their wives and children 
who were in it, but to act in such manner as was becoming 
their honor. Philip von Artaveld addressed many more 
fine speeches to them, for he was very eloquent, and had 
words at command, which was fortunate for him ; and 
toward the end he added, " My good friends, you see here 
all your jorovision : divide it among you fairly, like breth- 
ren, without any disturbance ; for, when it is gone, you 
must conquer more if you wish to live." 

At these words they drew up very regularly, and un- 
loaded the carts, when the bags of bread were given out 
to be divided by constable-wicks, and the two tuns of wine 
placed on their bottoms ; and there they moderately break- 
fasted, each man having a sufficiency at that time, — after 
which breakfast they found themselves more determined, 
and active on their feet, than if they had eaten more. 
This repast being over, they put themselves in order, and 
retired within their ribaudeaus. These ribaudeaus are 
tall stakes, with points shod with iron, which they were 
always accustomed to carry with them. They fixed them 
in front of their army, and enclosed themselves within. 

The three knights who had been sent by the earl to 
reconnoitre found them in this situation. They approached 
the entrances of these ribaudeaus ; but the Ghent men 
never moved, and rather seemed rejoiced to see them. 
They returned to Bruges, where they found the earl in 
his palace, surrounded by many knights, waiting for them, 
to hear whcit intelligence they had brought back. They 
pushed through the crowd, and came near the earl, when 
they spoke aloud, for the earl wished all present to hear, 
and said they had advanced so close to the Ghent army, 
that they might have shot at them if they had so chosen, 
but they left them in peace ; and that they had seen their 

Froissart's CJironicles. 307 

banners, and the army enclosed within their ribaudeaus. 
"And what are their numbers, think ye?" said the earl. 
They answered, that, as near as they could guess, they 
might be from five to six thousand. " Well," said the 
earl, "now let every one instantly get ready; fori will 
give them battle, and this day shall not pass without a 
combat." At these words the trumpet sounded in Bruges, 
when every one armed himself, and made for the market- 
place. As they came, they drew up under their proper 
banners, as they had usually done, in bands and constable- 

Many barons, knights, and men at arms drew up before 
the palace of the earl. When all was ready, and the earl 
armed, he came to the market-place, and was much pleased 
to see such numbers in battle-array. They then marched 
off (for none dared disobey his commands), and in order 
of battle made for the plain. The men at arms afterwards 
issued forth from Bruges. It was a handsome sight, for 
there were upward of forty thousand armed heads ; and 
thus horse and foot advanced in proper order, near to the 
place where the Ghent men were, and then halted. It was 
late in the afternoon when the earl and his army arrived, 
and the sun going down. One of the knights said to the 
earl, " My lord, you now see your enemies : they are but 
a handful of men in comparison with your army, and as 
they cannot escape, do not engage them this day, but 
wait for to-morrow, when you will have the day before 
you : you will, besides, have more light to see what you 
are about ; and they will be weaker, for they have not any 
thing to eat." 

The earl approved much this advice, and would willingly 
have followed it ; but the men of Bruges, impatient to 
begin the fight, would not wait, saying they would soon 

3 o 8 Fro issa rt 's Cli ro7i ides. 

defeat them and return back to their town. Notwithstand- 
ing the orders of the men at arms (for the earl had not 
less than eight hundred lances, knights, and squires), the 
Bruges men began to shoot and to fire cannons. 

The Ghent men, being collected in a body on an emi- 
nence, fired at once three hundred cannon ; after which 
they turned the marsh, and placed the Bruges men with 
the sun in their eyes, which much distressed them, and 
then fell upon them, shouting out, " Ghent ! " The mo- 
ment the men of Bruges heard the cannon and the cry of 
Ghent, and saw them marching to attack them in front, 
they, like cowards, opened their ranks, and, letting the 
Ghent men pass without making any defence, flung down 
their staves, and ran away. The Ghent men were in close 
order, and, perceiving their enemies were defeated, began 
to knock down and kill on all sides. They advanced with 
a quick step, shouting, " Ghent ! " and saying, " Let us 
pursue briskly our enemies, who are defeated, and enter 
the town with them : God eyes us this day with looks of 

They followed those of Bruges with so much courage, 
that, whenever they knocked down or killed any one, they 
marched on without halting or quitting the pursuit, while 
the men of Bruges fled with the haste of a defeated army. 
I must say that at this place there were multitudes of 
slain, wounded, and thrown down, for they made no de- 
fence ; and never were such cowardly wretches as those of 
Bruges, or who more weakly or recreantly behaved them- 
selves, after their insolence when they first took the field. 
Some may wish to excuse them by supposing there might 
have been treason, which caused this defeat. This was 
not so ; but such poor and weak conduct fell on their own 


Froissarf s Chronicles. 509 


Bruges is taken by the Ghent Army. — The Earl of Flanders 
saves himself in the house of a poor woman. 

WHEN the Earl of Flanders and the men at arms saw 
that by the miserable defence of the men of Bruges 
they had caused their own defeat, and that there was not 
any remedy for it, for every man was running away as fast 
as he could, they were much surprised, and began to be 
alarmed for themselves, and to make off in different direc- 
tions. It is true, that, had they seen any probability of 
recovering the loss which the Bruges men were suffering, 
they would have done some deeds of arms by which they 
might have rallied them a little ; but they saw it was hope- 
less, for they were flying to Bruges in all directions, and 
neither the son waited for the father, nor the father for 
his child. 

The men at arms therefore began to break their ranks. 
Few had any desire to return to Bruges, for the crowd 
was so great on the road thither, that it was painful to see 
and hear the complaints of the wounded and hurt. The 
men of Ghent were close at their heels, shouting out, 
" Ghent, Ghent ! " knocking down all that obstructed 
them. The greater part of the men at arms had never 
before been in such peril : even the earl was advised to 
make for Bruges, and to have the gates closed and guarded, 
so that the Ghent men should not be able to force them, 
and become masters of the town. The Earl of Flanders 
saw no help for his men, who were flying on all sides ; and, 
as it was now dark night, followed this advice, and took 

3IO Froissarfs Chronicles. 

the road to Bruges, his banner displayed before him. He 
entered the gates one of the first, with about forty others, 
for no more had followed him. He ordered the guards to 
defend the gates if the Ghent men should come hither ; 
and then rode to his palace, from whence he issued 
a proclamation that every person, under pain of death, 
should assemble in the market-place. The intention of 
the earl was to save the town by this means ; but it did 
not succeed, as you shall hear. 

While the earl was in his palace, and had sent the clerks 
of the different trades from street to street to hasten the 
inhabitants to the market-place in order to preserve the 
city, the men of Ghent, having closely pursued their ene- 
mies, entered the town with them, and instantly made 
for the market-place, without turning to the right or left, 
where they drew themselves up in array. Sir Robert 
Mareschaut, one of the earl's knights, had been sent to 
the gates to see they Avere guarded ; but, while the earl 
was planning means for defending the town, Sir Robert 
found a gate flung off its hinges, and the Ghent men 
masters of it. Some of the citizens said to him, " Robert, 
Robert, return and save yourself, if you can, for the 
Ghent men have taken the town." The knight returned 
as speedily as he could to the earl, whom he met coming 
out of his palace on horseback, with a number of torches. 
The knight told him what he had heard ; but notwith- 
standing this, the earl, anxious to defend the town, ad- 
vanced toward the market-place, and as he was entering 
it with a number of torches, shouting, " Flanders for the 
Lyon ! Flanders for the earl ! " those near his horse and 
about his person, seeing the place full of Ghent men, said, 
" ]\Iy lord, return ; for if you advance farther you will be 
slain, or at the best made prisoner by your enemies, as 

Froissart's Chronicles. 311 

they are drawn up in the square and are waiting for 

They told him truth ; for the Ghent men, seeing the 
great blaze of torches in the street, said, "Here comes my 
lord, here comes the earl : how he falls into our hands ! " 
Philip von Artaveld had given orders to his men, that, if 
the earl should come, every care was to be taken to pre- 
serve him from harm, in order that he might be carried 
alive and in good health to Ghent, when they should be 
able to obtain what peace they chose. The earl had 
entered the square, near where the Ghent men were 
drawn up, when several people carne to him and said, 
" My lord, do not come further ; for the Ghent men are 
masters of the market-place and of the town, and if you 
advance you will run a risk of being taken. Numbers 
of them are now searching for their enemies from street 
to street ; and many of the men of Bruges have joined 
them, who conduct them from hotel to hotel to seek those 
whom they want. You cannot pass any of the gates 
without danger of being killed, for they are in their 
possession ; nor can you return to your palace, for a large 
rout of Ghent men have marched thither." 

When the earl heard this speech, which was heart-break- 
ing as you may guess, he began to be much alarmed, and 
to see the peril he was in. He resolved to follow the 
advice of not going further, and to save himself if he 
could, which was confirmed by his own judgment. He 
ordered the torches to be extinguished, and said to those 
about him, " I see clearly that affairs are without remedy : 
I therefore give permission for every one to depart, and 
save himself in the best manner he can." His orders 
were obeyed. The torches were put out, and thrown in 
the streets ; and all who were in company with the earl 


312 Froissart^s Chronicles. 

separated and went away. He himself went to a by-street, 
where he was disarmed by his servant, and, throwing down 
his clothes, put on his servant's, saying, " Go about thy 
business, and save thyself if thou canst ; but be silent if 
thou fall into the hands of my enemies, and if they ask 
any thing about me do not give them any information." 
— " My lord," replied the valet, " I will sooner die." 

The Earl of Flanders thus remained alone, and it may 
be truly said he was in the greatest danger ; for it was over 
with him if he had at that hour, by any accident, fallen 
into the hands of the mob, who were going up and down 
the streets, searching every house for the friends of the 
earl ; and whomsoever they found they carried before 
Philip von Artaveld and the other captains in the market- 
place, when they were instantly put to death. It was God 
alone who watched over him, and delivered him from this 
peril; for no one had ever before been in such imminent 
danger, as I shall presently relate. The earl inwardly 
bewailed his situation from street to street at this late 
hour ; for it was a little past midnight, and he dared not 
enter any house, lest he should be seized by the mobs of 
Ghent and Bruges. Thus, as he was rambling through 
the streets, he at last entered the house of a poor woman, 
a very unfit habitation for such a lord, as there were nei- 
ther halls nor apartments, but a small house, dirty and 
smoky, and as black as jet : there was only in this place 
one poor chamber, over which was a sort of garrei that 
was entered by means of a ladder of seven steps, where, 
on a miserable bed, the children of this woman lay. 

The earl entered this house with fear and trembling, 
and said to the woman, who was also much frightened, 
"Woman, save me: I am thy lord, the Earl of Flanders; 
but at this moment I must hide myself, for my enemies 

Froissari's Chronicles. 313 

are in pursuit of me ; and I will handsomely reward thee 
for the favor thou showest me." The poor woman knew 
him well, for she had frequently received alms at his door ; 
and had often seen him pass and repass when he was 
going to some amusement or hunting. She was ready 
with her answers, in which God assisted the earl; for, had 
she delayed it ever so little, they would have found him in 
conversation with her by the fireside. " My lord, mount 
this ladder, and get under the bed in which my children 
sleep." This he did, while she employed herself by the 
fireside, with another child in a cradle. 

The Earl of Flanders mounted the ladder as quickly as 
he could, and, getting between the straw and the coverlet, 
hid himself, and contracted his body into as little space as 
possible. He had scarcely done so, when some of the 
mob of Ghent entered the house. One of them took a 
candle, and mounted the ladder, and, thrusting his head 
into the place, saw nothing but the wretched bed in which 
the children were asleep. He looked all about him, above 
and below, and then said to his companions, " Come, 
come, let us go : we only lose our time, here." 

The Earl of Flanders, hearing all this conversation as 
he lay hid, you may easily imagine, was in the greatest 
fear of his life. In the morning he could have said he 
was one of the most powerful princes in Christendom, and 
that same night he felt himself one of the smallest. One 
may truly say that the fortunes of this world are not sta- 
ble. It was fortunate for him to save his life ; and this 
miraculous escape ought to be to him a remembrance his 
whole lifetime. 

314 Froissarfs Chronicles. 


The Earl of Flanders quits Bruges, and returns to Lille, 
whither some of his people had already retreated. 

I WAS informed, and believe my authority good, that on 
the Sunday evening, when it was dark, the Earl of Flan- 
ders escaped from Bruges. I am ignorant how he accom- 
plished it, or if he had any assistance, but some I believe 
he must have had. He got out of the town on foot, clad 
in a miserable jerkin, and when in the fields was quite joy- 
ous, as he might then say he had escaped from the utmost 
peril. He wandered about at first, and came to a thorn- 
bush to consider whither he should go ; for he was unac- 
quainted with the roads or country, having never before 
travelled on foot. As he lay thus hid under the bush, he 
heard some one talk, who by accident was one of his 
knights, that had married a bastard daughter of his : his 
name was Sir Robert Mareschaut. The earl, hearing him 
talk as he was passing, said to him, " Robert, art thou 
there.''" The knight, who well knew his voice, replied, 
"My lord, you have this day given me great uneasiness in 
seeking for you all round Bruges : how were you able to 
escape 1 " — " Come, come, Robert," said the earl : " this is 
not a time to tell one's adventures : endeavor to get me 
a horse, for I am tired with walking, and take the road 
to Lille, if thou knowest it." — "My lord," answered the 
knight, " I know it well." They then travelled all night 
and the morrow till early morn, before they could procure 
a horse. The first beast they could find was a mare 
belonging to a poor man in a village. The earl mounted 

Froissarf s Chronicles. 315 

the mare, without saddle or bridle, and, travelling all Mon- 
day, came, toward evening, to the castle of Lille, whither 
a great part of his knights who had escaped from the 
battle of Bruges had retired. They had got off as well as 
they could, some on foot, others on horseback : but all did 
not follow this road ; some went by water to Holland and 
Zealand, where they remained until they received better 


The Duke of Burgundy instigates his Nephew King Charles to 
MAKE War on Ghent and its Allies, as well in Revenge for 
THE burnt Villages as to assist in the Recovery of Flanders 
FOR the Earl, who was his Vassal. 

THE Duke of Burgundy was not forgetful of the 
engagements he had entered into with his lord and 
father the Earl of Flanders. He set out from Bapaume 
attended by Sir Guy de la Tremouille and Sir John de 
Vienne, Admiral of France, who were very desirous the 
earl should be assisted. These two were the principal 
persons of his council. They continued their journey 
until they arrived at Senlis, where the king was with his 
two uncles of Berry and Bourbon. When he found an 
opportunity, he drew his brother the Duke of Berry aside, 
and explained to him how the Ghent men, in the insolence 
of their pride, were endeavoring to be masters everywhere, 
and to destroy all gentlemen ; that they had already burnt 
and pillaged part of the kingdom of France, which was 
much to the prejudice and dishonor of the realm, and 
ought not to be patiently borne. 

The king entered the apartments where his uncles were, 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 

with a falcon on his wrist : he was struck with the duke's 
last words, and said with much good-humor, "What were 
you speaking of, my fair uncles, at this moment, with so 
much earnestness ? I should like to hear it, if it be proper 
for me to know." — " Yes, my lord," answered the Duke of 
Berry; "for what we were discussing personally concerns 
you. Your uncle, my brother of Burgundy, has just been 
complaining to me of the Flemings. Those villains of 
Flanders have driven the earl their lord out of his coun- 
try, and all the gentlemen. They are now, to the amount 
of a hundred thousand men, besieging Oudenarde, under 
a captain called Philip von Artaveld, an Englishman for 
courage, who has sworn he will never break up the siege 
until he has had his will on those of the town, unless 
you shall force him to it. This reservation he has made. 
Now, what do you say to this ? will you assist your cousin 
of Flanders to regain his inheritance, of which peasants, 
in their pride and cruelty, have deprived him } " — " By my 
faith, my dear uncles," replied the king, " I have a very 
great inclination so to do, and in God's name let us march 
thither. I wish for nothing more than to try my strength 
in arrns, for never hitherto have I had armor on. It is 
necessary, therefore, if I wish to reign with honor and 
glory, that I learn the art of war." The two dukes were 
well pleased at hearing the king thus speak out. The 
Duke of Bourbon now came, having been sent for by 
them ; and they related to him all you have heard, and 
how eager the king was to march to Flanders, with which 
he was much pleased. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 317 


Charles the Sixth, King of France, from a Dream, chooses a 
FLYING Hart for his Device. 

IT happened that during the residence of the young 
king Charles at Senlis, as he was sleeping in his bed a 
vision appeared to him. He thought he was in the city 
of Arras, where until then he had never been, attended 
by all the flower of knighthood of his kingdom ; that the 
Earl of Flanders came there to him, and placed on his 
wrist a most beautiful and elegant pilgrim-falcon, saying, 
" My lord, in God's name I give this falcon to you for the 
best that was ever seen, the most indefatigable hunter, 
and the most excellent striker of birds." The king was 
much pleased with the present, and said, "Fair cousin, I 
give you my thanks." He then thought he turned to the 
Constable .of France, who was near him, and said, " Sir 
Oliver, let you and I go to the plains, and try this elegant 
falcon which my cousin of Flanders has given me ; " when 
the constable answered, "Well, let us go." Then each 
mounted their horses, and went into the fields, taking the 
falcon with them, where they found plenty of herons to fly 
him at. The king said, " Constable, cast off the falcon, and 
we shall see how he will hunt." The constable let him fly, 
and the falcon mounted so high in the air they could 
scarcely see him : he took the direction toward Flanders. 
" Let us ride after my bird," said the king to the constable ; 
"for I will not lose him." The constable assented; and 
they rode on, as it appeared to the king, through a large 
marsh, when they came to a wood, on which the king cried 

3i8 Froissart's Chronicles. 

out, "■ Dismount, dismount ! we cannot pass this wood on 
horseback." They then dismounted, when some servants 
came and took their horses. The king and the constable 
entered the wood with much difficulty, and walked on until 
they came to an extensive heath, where they saw a falcon 
chasing herons, and striking them down ; but they resisted, 
and there was a battle between them. It seemed to. the 
king that his falcon performed gallantly, and drove the 
birds before him so far that he lost sight of him. This 
much vexed the king, as well as the impossibility of 
following him ; and he said to the constable, " I shall lose 
my falcon, which I shall very much regret ; for I have 
neither lure nor any thing else to call him back." While 
the king was in this anxiety he thought a beautiful hart, 
with two v^^ings, appeared to issue oat of the wood, and 
come to this heath, and bend himself down before the 
king, who said to the constable as he regarded this wonder 
with delight, "Constable, do you remain here; and I will 
mount this hart that offers himself to me, and follow my 
bird." The constable agreed to it; and the young king 
joyfully mounted the hart, and went seeking the falcon. 
The hart, like one well tutored to obey the king's pleasure, 
carried him over the tops of the highest trees, when he 
saw his falcon striking down such numbers of birds that 
he marvelled how he could do it. It seemed to the king 
that, when the falcon had sufficiently flown and struck 
down enough of the herons, he called him back ; and 
instantly, as if well taught, he perched on the king's 
wrist, when it seemed to him that after he had taken the 
falcon by its lure, and given him his reward, the hart flew 
back again over the wood, and replaced the king on the 
same heath whence he had carried him, and where the con- 
stable was waiting, who was much rejoiced at his return. 

Froissart's Chronicles. 319 

On his aiTival he dismounted : the hart returned to the 
wood, and was no more seen. The king then, as he ima- 
gined, related to the constable how well the hart had car- 
ried him, and that he had never rode so easy before in his 
life ; and also the goodness of his falcon, who had struck 
down such numbers of birds : to all which the constable 
willingly listened. The servants then seemed to come 
after them with their horses, which, having mounted, they 
followed a magnificent road that brought them back to 
Arras. The king at this part awakened, much astonished 
at the vision he had seen, which was so imprinted on his 
memory that he told it to some of his attendants who 
were waiting in his chamber. The figure of this hart was 
so agreeable to him, that he could not put it out of his 
imagination ; and this was the cause why, on this expedi- 
tion to Flanders against the Flemings, he took a flying 
hart for his device. 


King Charles, at the Instigation of the Earl of Flanders, who 
WAS present, assembles his Army in Artois against the Flem- 
ings. — Philip von Arta VELD guards the Passes into Flanders. 

THE King of France, like one who was desirous of 
marching to Flanders to abase the pride of the 
Flemings, as his predecessors had formerly done, set his 
secretaries at work, and sent his letters and summons by 
messengers to all parts of his kingdom, ordering every 
one to hasten to Arras without delay, accoutred each 
according to his rank in the best manner he was able ; 
for, if it were God's pleasure, he was determined to fight 
the Flemings in their own country. 

320 Froissarf's CJironiclcs. 

No lord of his realm disobeyed ; but all sent orders to 
their vassals, and marched from the most distant coun- 
tries, such as Auvergne, Roaergue, Toulousain, Gascony, 
Poitou, Limousin, Saintonge, and Brittany : others came 
from the Bourbonois, Forets, Burgundy, Dauphin^, Savoy, 
Bar, and Lorrain, and from all parts of France and its 
dependencies, to Arras. The assemblage of such numbers 
of men at arms was a wonderful, beautiful sight. The 
Earl of Flanders resided at Hedin, and heard daily, from 
the King of France and the Duke of Burgundy, of the 
great levies which were making, and in consequence is- 
sued a proclamation throughout Artois forbidding any one, 
under pain of losing his life and fortune, to withdraw any 
thing whatever from house, fortress, or town ; for he was 
desirous that the men at arms who were marching to 
Artois should have the advantage of being served with 
whatever was in the Low Countries. 

The King of France came into Artois, where he re- 
mained. Men at arms came to him from all quarters, and 
so handsomely equipped, it was a fine sight to see : they 
quartered themselves as they arrived in the plains, and 
found all the barns quite full and well furnished. The 
Earl of Flanders came to Arras, which greatly pleased the 
king and his lords : he performed his homage in the pres- 
ence of those peers who were there, for the county of 
Artois, and the king accepted him as his vassal. His 
majesty then addressed him, saying, " Fair cousin, if it 
please God and St. Denis, we will restore you to your 
inheritance of Flanders, and will abate the pride of Philip 
von Artaveld and the Flemings so effectually, that they 
shall never again have it in their power to rebel." — "My 
lord," rephed the earl, "I have full confidence in it; and 
you will acquire such honor and glory that as long as the 

Froissart's Chronicles. 321 

world lasts you will be praised, for certainly the pride of 
the Flemings is very great." 

Philip, while at the siege of Oudcnarde, was informed of 
every thing, and that the King of France was marching a 
large army against him, though he pretended not to be- 
lieve it; and said to his people, "By what means does this 
young king think to enter Flanders ? He is as yet too 
young by a year to imagine he can frighten us by his 
assembling an army. I will have the entrances so well 
guarded that it shall not be in their power for this year to 
cross the river Lis." He sent to Ghent for the Lord de 
Harzelles. On his arrival, he said to him, " Lord de 
Harzelles, you hear how the King of France is making 
preparations to destroy us. We must have a council on 
this subject. You shall remain here, and I will go to 
Bruges to learn surer intelligence, and to encourage the 
citizens of the principal towns. I will go to establish .such 
garrisons on the river Lis, and at the chief passes, that 
the French shall not be able to advance through them." 


Several Knights of the Party of the Earl of Flanders, having 


to repass it, the flemings having broken down the bridge. 
— Philip, hearing this News when at Ypres, makes Use of it 
TO encourage the Inhahitants. 

WHILE these preparations were going forward, and 
during the residence of the King of France at 
Arras, great bodies of men at arms were assembling in' the 
Tourneois, Artois, and castlewick of Lille and its neigh- 

322 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

borhood. Some knights and squires who resided at Lille 
and thereabout resolved to perform feats of arms that 
should gain them renown, chiefly through the exhortations 
of the Haze de Flanders. They collected about sixscore 
knights and squires, and crossed the river Lis at Pont- 
Amenin, which was not then broken down, two leagues 
from Lille. They rode for the town of Harle, which they 
surprised ; and, after slaying many in the town and envi- 
rons, they drove the remainder out of the town. Their 
cries were heard in the neighboring villages ; the inhabit- 
ants of which sounded their alarm-bells, and marched 
toward Harle and Pont-Amenin, whence the cries seem-ed 
to come. 

When the Haze, Sir John Jumont, the Constable de 
Vuillon, Sir Henry Duffle, and the other knights and 
squires, had sufficiently alarmed the country, they thought 
it was time for them to retreat, and set out on their return, 
intending to repass the bridge ; but they found it stronglv 
occupied by Flemings, who were busily employed in de- 
stroying it ; and when they had broken down any parts 
they covered them with straw, that the mischief might 
not be perceived. The knights and squires at this mo- 
ment arrived, mounted on the best of horses, and found 
upward of two thousand peasants drawn up in a body 
without the town, prepared to advance upon them. The 
gentlemen, on seeing this, formed ; and, having fixed their 
lances on their rests, those best mounted instantly charged 
this body of peasants, with loud shouts. The Flemings 
opened their ranks througli fear, but others say through 
malice ; for they well knew the bridge would not bear 
them, and they said among themselves, " Let us make 
way for them, and we shall soon see fine sport." 

The Haze de Flanders and his companions, desirous to 

Froissart's Chronicles. 323 

get away (for any further stay would be against them), 
galloped for the bridge, which was now too weak to bear 
any great weight : however, the Haze and some others had 
the courage and good luck to pass over, — they might be 
about thirty, — but, as others were following, the bridge 
broke down under them. Horses and riders were over- 
thrown, and both jicrishcd together. Those behind, see- 
ing this misfortune, were thunderstruck, and knew not 
whither to fly to save themselves. Some leaped into the 
river, intending to swim, but they were not able tlnis to 
cscajjc. Great slaughter ensued; for the Flemings fell 
upon them, and killed them easily and without pity. 
They made several leap into the water, and they were 
drowned. Sir John de Jumont narrowly escaped, for the 
bridge broke under him, but by great agility of body he 
saved himself : he was, however, badly wounded on the 
head and body by arrows, and it was six weeks before he 
recovered. At this unfortunate action were killed the 
Constables de Vuillon, de Bouchars, de St. Hilaire, and 
more drowned : Sir Henry Duf^e was slain. Including 
drowned and killed, there were upward of sixty ; and very 
fortunate were those who escaped. Great numbers re- 
turned wounded from this enterprise. News was carried 
to the lords of France at Arras, of their countrymen hav- 
ing lost the day, and that the Haze de Flanders had con- 
ducted this foolish expedition. He was pitied by some, 
but by others not. Thcxse who had been most accustomed 
to arms said they had acted ill, to cross a river that was 
not fordable, attack a large town, and enter an enemy's 
country, and return the way they had come, without hav- 
ing established guards on the bridge. It was not an 
enterprise planned by prudent men at arms, who were 
desirous of success ; but, since they planned their enter- 

324 Froissarf s Chronicles. 

prise with so much self-sufficiency, they had suffered from 
the consequence. 

This affair passed off, and was soon forgotten. Philip 
departed from Bruges, and came to Ypres, where he was 
most joyfully received. Peter du Bois went to Commines, 
where all the inhabitants of the fiat country were assem- 
bled, and instantly began his preparations for defence, 
loosening the planks of the bridge, so that, if there should 
be occasion, it could immediately be pulled down ; but he 
was unwilling totally to destroy the bridge, lest the inhabit- 
ants of the adjacent flat country might suffer, who daily 
crossed it with their cattle in droves, to place them in 
greater security on that side of the Lis. The whole coun- 
try was so much covered with them, it was marvellous to 

The day Philip von Artaveld came to Ypres, news 
arrived of the defeat of the French at Pont-Amenin, and 
that the Haze had been nearly taken. Philip was might- 
ily rejoiced at this, and said with a smile, to encourage 
those near, "By the grace of God, and the just cause we 
are engaged in, it will all end so ; and never shall this 
king, if he should be so foolishly advised to cross the Lis, 
return again to France." 

Philip was five days in Ypres, and harangued the peo- 
ple in the open market-place, to encourage them and to 
keep them st.eady to their engagements, telling them that 
the King of France was coming to destroy them without 
the least shadow of right. " Good people," said Philip, 
" do not be alarmed if he should march against us ; for 
he will never be able to cross the river Lis, as I have had 
all the passes well guarded, and have ordered Peter du 
Bois to Commines with a large body of men : he is a loyal 
man, and one who loves the honor of Flanders ; and 

Froissarfs CJironicles. 325 

Peter le Nuitre I have sent to Warneton. All the other 
bridges on the Lis are broken down, and there is neither 
pass nor ford which they can cross but at these two towns. 
I have also heard from our friends whom we sent to Eng- 
land. In a short time we shall receive considerable suc- 
cors from thence, as we have made a strong alliance with 
them. Keep up, therefore, valiantly your hopes, for our 
honor shall be unsullied ; and observe punctually what you 
have promised and sworn to us in the good town of Ghent, 
which has had such trouble and difficulty to maintain the 
rights and franchises of Flanders. Now let all those who 
are determined to remain steady to the cause, according 
to the oath they took, gallantly lift up their hands to 
heaven as a token of loyalty." 

At these words all who were in the market-place, and 
who had heard the speech, held up their hands as a sign of 
their loyalty. After this Philip descended from the scaf- 
fold on which he had harangued, and returned to his house, 
where he remained the whole day. On the morrow he 
and his attendants mounted their horses, and went toward 
Oudenarde, where the siege was still going on, notwith- 
standing the news of the French ; but on passing through 
Courtray he rested two days. 

The Order of the French Army in its March to Flanders, after 


WE will for a while leave Philip von Artaveld, and 
speak of the young King of France, who resided at 
Arras, and who, as he showed, had a great desire to enter 

326 Froissart 's Chron ides. 

Flanders to lower the pride of the Flemings ; and was 
daily increasing his army by the arrival of men at arms 
from all quarters. On the third day of November, he 
came to Seclin, where he halted. A council was held in 
the presence of the Constable of France, and the Marshals 
of France, Burgundy, and Flanders, to consider how they 
should proceed. The common report in the army was the 
impossibility to enter Flanders in case the passes of the 
river should be strongly guarded. It rained, besides, at 
this time continually, and was so exceedingly cold that 
they could not advance. Some of the wisest said it was 
wrong to undertake such an expedition at this season of 
the year, and to bring the king so far into such a country. 
They ought not to have united before the summer to carry 
the war into Flanders, for the king had never been so far 
in his life. 

This river Lis is so difficult to cross, that except at cer- 
tain places it cannot be passed. There are no fords, and 
the country it runs through is so very marshy, horses can- 
not approach it. There were many debates among these 
lords on this subject; and those who knew the country 
said, "Certainly, at such a season as this, it will not be 
right to advance into that country, nor can we go into the 
territories of Cassel, Surnes, or Verthes." — "And what 
road shall we then take .-' " cried the constable. Upon 
which the Lord de Coucy said, " I would propose that we 
march to Tournay, and there cross the Scheld, and take the 
road toward Oudenarde. This road is very easy, and we 
shall engage with our enemies. After passing the Scheld, 
we shall not have any thing to stop us before Tournay. 
We may thus arrive before Oudenarde, and punish Philip 
von Artaveld. We can have daily refreshments of provis- 
ions come to us from Hainault, and follow us down tlie 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 2)^j 

river from Tournay." This speech of the Lord de Coucy 
was well attended to, and supported by several for some 
time : but the constable and marshals were more inclined 
to follow the course of the Lis, to seek a shorter passage, 
than to march to the right or left by a longer road ; and 
they urged strong reasons for it, saying, " If we look for any 
other road but the straight one, we do not show ourselves 
good men at arms ; at least it is our duty to examine if we 
cannot pass the river above or below this pass of Com- 
mines, which is guarded. Besides, if we retreat, our ene- 
mies will rejoice and be encouraged : their forces will in- 
crease, and the) will say that we fly from them. There is 
also another point which ought to be 'considered : we are 
ignorant what has been the success of the ambassadors 
they sent to England ; for if, by any treaty, assistance 
should come to them from that quarter, they will give us 
much trouble. It is therefore better that we get rid of 
this business in Flanders as speedily as possible, than be 
thus long in determining upon it. Let us instantly, and 
with courage, march toward Commines, and God will 
assist us." 

This plan was unanimously adopted. During the time 
these lords were assembled, they considered how they 
should form their battalions ; and selected those who were 
to march on foot with the constable in the vanguard, in 
order to clear the roads for the army to pass and march in 
a line, and to act as scouts to observe and find out their 
enemies. They also chose those who were to be in the 
king's battalion, regulated the arms with which they should 
serve, and appointed proper persons to carry the oriflamme 
of France and to guard it ; and likewise determined of 
what numbers the wings were to be composed, and how 
many were to be in the rear-guard. All these things they 

328 Froissart's CJironicles. 

debated and arranged. When these points had been set- 
tled, and they could not think of any thing more that was 
necessary to be done, the council broke up, and every one 
retired to his lodgings. Those lords and barons who had 
not been present were informed of the regulations, and the 
manner in which they were to act from henceforward. It 
was this day ordered, that the king should on the morrow 
dislodge from Seclin, march through Lille without halting, 
and take up his quarters at Margnette I'Abbayee ; and that 
the vanguard should pass on to Commines and Warneton, 
and do the most they could in the course of the day. 
This being settled, the master of the crossbows, in con- 
junction with the constable and marshals, unanimously 
appointed Sir Josse de Haluyn and the Lord de Ram- 
bures to the command of the infantry, who were to clear 
the roads by cutting down hedges and forests, filling up 
valleys, and every thing else that might be necessary. 
Their numbers amounted to seventeen hundred and sixty. 
In the vanguard were the Marshals of Flanders, France, 
and Burgundy, who had under their command seventeen 
hundred men at arms and seven hundred crossbows, be- 
sides four thousand infantry whom the earl had given to 
them, armed with large shields and other weapons. It 
was also ordered that the Earl of Flanders and his bat- 
talion, consisting of about sixteen hundred men at arms, 
knights, squires, and infantry, should march on the wings 
of the vanguard to re-enforce it, should it be necessary. It 
was likewise ordered that the king's battalion should march 
between the vanguard and the battalion of the Earl of 
Flanders, and that the king's three uncles, Berry, Bur- 
gundy, and Bourbon, should be in it ; and also the Count 
de la Marche, Sir James de Bourbon, his brothers, the 
Count de Clermont, the Dauphin d'Auvergne, the Count 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 329 

de Dampmartin, the Count de Sancerre, Sir John de Bou- 
logne, to the amount of six thousand men at arms, two 
thousand Genoese crossbows, and others. 

The rear-guard was to consist of two thousand men at 
arms and two hundred archers ; the commanders of which 
were the Lord John d'Artois, Count d'Eu, the Lord Guy, 
Count de Blois, Sir Waleran, Count de St. Pol, Sir Wil- 
liam, Count de Harcourt, the Lord de Chatillon, and the 
Lord de Sere. 

Sir Peter de Villiers was appointed to bear the oriflamme, 
attended by four knights, whose names were Sir Robert le 
Baveux, Sir Morice de Sancourt, Sir Guy de Tresiquidi, 
and Brandon de la Heuse : Le Borgne de Ruet and Le 
Borgne de Montdoulcet were named to guard the banner. 

It is proper to be known, that the lords who had planned 
this expedition had determined they would never return to 
France until they had engaged Philip von Artaveld and 
his forces ; and it was for this reason they had drawn up 
their battalions as ready for the combat on the morrow. 
The Lords d'Albreth, de Coucy, and Sir Hugh de Hanlon 
were ordered to form the battalions, and place them in 
array. Sir William de Bannes and the Lord de Charap- 
reny were appointed marshals to attend to the cjuarters of 
the king and his battalion. 

It was also ordered, that on the day of battle no one 
but the king and eight valiant men appointed to attend his 
person should be on horseback. The names of these 
eight men were as follows : the Lord de Raineval, Le Begue 
de Villaines, Sir Aymemon de Pommiers, Sir Enguerrant 
de Haluyn, the Viscount d'Acy, Sir Guy le Baveux, Sir 
Nicholas de Pennel, and Sir William des Bourdes. The 
Lord de Raineval. and Sir Enguerrant de Haluyn were to 
take post in front of the king; Le Begue de Villaines and 

3 3 o Fro issart *s Chron ides. 

the Viscount d'Acy (who is called in several places here- 
after the Viscount d'Aunoy) were to place themselves on 
each side ; and Sir Aymemon de Pommiers, Sir Nicholas 
de Fennel, Sir Guy le Baveux, and Sir William des 
Bourdes were to take post in the rear. It was likewise 
ordered, that on the day of battle Sir Oliver de Clisson, 
Constable of France, and Sir William de Poitiers, should 
advance on horseback, to reconnoitre and observe the ap- 
pearance of the enemy. 


Some Few of the French, not being able to cross the Lis at 
THE Bridge of Commines, find means of doing so by Boats and 
other Craft, unknown to the Flemings. 

THE orders above mentioned were punctually obeyed ; 
and the vanguard dislodged on the morrow, march- 
ing in order of battle toward Commines. They found the 
roads well made, for the Lord de Fransures and Sir Josse 
de Haluyn had paid great attention to them : this was 
on the Monday, When the Constable and Marshals of 
France, with the vanguard, arrived at the bridge of Com- 
mines, they were forced to halt ; for it was so completely 
destroyed, that it was not in the power of man to repair it 
if any opposition should be made when they were attempt- 
ing it, as the Flemings were in great force on the opposite 
side of the river, and ready to defend the pass against all 
who might wish to attack them : they were upward of nine 
thousand, under the command of Peter du Bois and others, 
who showed good inclinations to repulse any attempt. 
Peter du Bois had placed him.self on the causeway, at tlie 

Froissart's CJironicles. 331 

end of the bridge, with a battle-axe in his hand ; and the 
Flemings were drawn up on cacli side. 

The Constable of France and the lords with him, having 
considered the situation, thought it impossible to pass the 
river at tliat place unless the bridge were rebuilt ; they 
ordered their servants to follow the course of the river, 
and examine its banks for about a league up and down. 
When they returned, they informed their masters, who were 
waiting for them, they had not been able to find any place 
where the cavalry could pass. Upon hearing this, the con- 
stable was much vexed, and said, "Wc have been badly 
advised to take tliis road : better would it have been for 
us to have gone to St. Omcr than remain in this danger, 
or to have crossed the Scheld at Tournay, as the Lord de 
Coucy advised, and to have marched straight to Oudenarde 
and fought our enemies, since it is both our duty and in- 
clination to combat them ; and they are so presumptuous, 
they would have waited for us at their siege." The Lord 
Louis Sancerre then said, " I am of opinion that we fix 
our quarters here for this day, and lodge our army, should 
it arrive, as well as wc are able ; and that we send to Lille 
to seek for boats and hurdles, tliat may come down the 
river, with which to-morrow we can throw a bridge from 
these fine meads, and cross over ; for we have no other 
alternative." Upon this Sir Josse de Ilaluyn said, "My 
lord, we have been informed that there will be great diffi- 
culties between this and Lille ; for the river Menyn, on 
which all boats must pass to come hither, has been ob- 
structed by large beams thrown across it by the Flemings 
who are in those parts : they have totally destroyed the 
bridge, and we learn it is impossible for any vessels or 
boats to pass." — "I know not, then," added the constable, 
"what we can now do. It will be better for us to take the 

332 Froissart's Chronicles. 

road to Aire, and cross the Lis at that place, since we are 
unable to do so here." 

During the time the Constable and Marshals of France 
and Burgundy were in this dilemma at the bridge of Com- 
mines, several knights and squires silently withdrew, with 
the intent to hazard some gallant deeds of arms, and 
attempt to cross the river, whatever it might cost them. 
They meant likewise to combat the Flemings in their in- 
trenchments, and open a passage, as I shall now relate. 
While the vanguard was on its march from Lille to Com- 
mines, the Lord de St. Py, and some other knights from 
Hainault, Flanders, Artois, and even France, had held a 
council without the knowledge of the constable or mar- 
shals. They said, "We will procure two or three boats, 
which we will launch into the river Lis, at a sheltered 
place below Commines, and will fix posts on each side of 
the river where it is not wide, to fasten cords to. We 
shall by this means soon convey over a large body of men ; 
and by marching on the rear of our enemies we may 
attack them, and if victorious we shall gain the reputa- 
tion of valiant men at arms." After they had thus deter- 
mined in 'council, the Lord de St. Py exerted himself so 
much that he procured from Lille a boat and cords, with 
every other necessary article. On the other hand, Sir 
Hcrbeaux de Belleperche and Sir John de Roye, who were 
companions in this expedition, had also caused a boat to 
be brought. Sir Henry de Manny, Sir John de Malatrait, 
and Sir John Chauderon, Bretons, who had been of this 
council, had likewise provided one, and followed the pre- 
ceding companies. 

The Lord de St. Py was the first who arrived at the 
river with his boat, cords, and fastenings. They fixed a 
strong stake, to which they tied the cord : three varlets 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 333 

then crossed over, and the boat, with the cords, being 
launched, they fixed on the opposite side another strong 
post, to which they fastened the other end of the cord ; 
and, this being done, they returned with the boat to their 
master. It happened that the Constable and Marshals of 
France were at that time at the bridge of Commines, pon- 
dering how they could discover a passage. They were 
then informed of the intentions of the Lord de St. Py and 
the other knights ; upon which the constable, addressing 
himself to the Lord Louis de Sancerre, said, "Marshal, go 
and see what they are doing, and, if it be possible to cross 
the river in the manner they propose, add some of our 
men to theirs." 

Just as these knights were preparing to embark, the 
Marshal of France came thither, attended by a large com- 
pany of knights and squires. They made way for him, as 
was right. He stopped on the bank, and with pleasure 
saw the arrangement of the boats. The Lord de St. Py, 
addressing him, said, " My lord, is it agreeable to you that 
we should cross here .'' " — ''I am very well pleased with it," 
replied the marshal; "but you are running great risks: 
for if our enemies, who are at Commines, should know 
your intentions, they would do you great mischief." — " My 
lord," answered the Lord de St. Py, "nothing venture, 
nothing win : in the name of God and St. George we will 
cross over, and before to-morrow evening will fall sud- 
denly on our enemies, and attack them." The Lord de 
St. Py then placed his pennon in the boat, and was the 
first who stepped into it : he was followed by nine others, 
who were as many as the boat could hold, and instantly, 
by means of the cord they held, crossed over. When dis- 
embarked, in order to prevent themselves from being dis- 
covered, they entered a small alder-grove, where they lay 

334 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

hidden. Those on the bank, by means of the cord, drew 
the boat back. The Count de Conversant, Lord d'Anghien, 
embarked with his banner, with the Lord de Vertam his 
brother, and seven others. These nine then passed, and 
the third time others followed them. 

The two other boats now arrived that belonged to Sir 
Herbaut de Belleperche, Sir John de Roye, and the Bre- 
tons ; which were launched in the same manner the first 
had been. These knights then crossed, and none but de- 
termined men at arms did the same. It was a pleasure to 
see with what eagerness they embarked : at times a great 
crowd was pushing who should cross first, so that if the 
Marshal of France had not been there, who kept them in 
proper order, accidents would have happened from their 
overloading the boats. 

News was brought to the constable and the lords of 
France at the bridge of Commines, how their people were 
crossing the river, when he said to the Seneschal de Rieux, 
" Go and examine this passage, I beg of you, and see if 
our people be passing as they tell us." The Lord de 
Rieux was never happier than when he had this commis- 
sion, and, clapping spurs to his horse, hastened thither 
with his whole company, to the amount of full forty men 
at arms. When he arrived at the passage where one hun- 
dred and fifty of his countrymen had already crossed, he 
immediately dismounted, and said he would also pass the 
river. The Marshal of France would not refuse him ; and 
intelligence was sent to the constable, that his cousin the 
Lord de Rieux had crossed. The constable mused a little, 
and then said, " Make the crossbows shoot, and skirmish 
with the Flemings who are on the other side of the bridge, 
to occupy their attention, and prevent them from observ- 
ing our people ; for, if they should have any notion what 

Froissarfs Chrofiicles. 335 

they are about, they will fall upon them, destroy the pas- 
sage, and kill all those who have crossed ; and I would 
much rather die than that should happen." 

Upon this, the crossbows and infantry advanced. 
There were among them some who flung hand-grenades, 
which, bursting, cast out bolts of iron beyond the bridge, 
even as far as the town of Commines. The skirmish now 
began to be very sharp; and the vanguard, by their move- 
ments, seemed determined to cross the bridge if they 
could. The Flemings, being shielded up to their noses, 
made a good appearance, and defended themselves well. 
Thus passed this day, which was a Monday, in skirmish- 
ing ; and it was soon dark, for at that season the days are 
very short. The boats, however, continued to carry over 
men at arms in great numbers, who on their landing hid 
themselves in the alder-wood, waiting for more. 

You may easily guess what perils they were in ; for, 
had those in Commines gained the least intelligence of 
them, they must have had them at their mercy, and con- 
quered the greater part, besides taking the boats ; but, 
God favored the other party, and consented that the pride 
of the Flemings should be humbled. 


A Small Body of French, having crossed the Lis, draw up in 
Battle- Array keeore the Flemings. 

I MAINTAIN that all men of understanding must hold 
this enterprise of the boats, and passage of men at 
arms, as a deed of superior valor and enterprise. Toward 
evening the knights and squires of the vanguard were 

336 Fro issa rt 's CJi ron ides. 

eager to cross with their companions ; so that late in this 
Monday evening there were, on the Flanders side of the 
river, about four hundred men at arms, all the flower of 
knighthood, for no varlet was suffered to cross. 

The Lord Louis de Sancerre, seeing so many gallant 
men (sixty banners and thirty pennons), said he should 
think himself to blame if he remained behind. He then 
entered the boats, with his knights and squires ; and the 
Lord de Hangest, &c., crossed at the same time. When 
they were all assembled, they said, " It is time to march 
toward Commines, to look at our enemies, and see if we 
cannot make our qiiarters good in the town." Upon this 
they tightened their arms, buckled their helmets on their 
heads in a proper manner, and, advancing through the 
marshes which are contiguous to the river, marched in 
order of battle, with banners and pennons displayed, as 
if they were immediately to engage. The Lord de St. Py 
was the principal conductor and commander-in-chief, be- 
cause he knew the country better than any of the others. 

As they were thus marching in close order, in their 
way toward the town, Peter du Bois and the Flemings 
were drawn up on the causeway ; when, casting their eyes 
toward the "meads, they saw this body of men at arms 
approaching. They were exceedingly astonished, and de- 
manded from Peter du Bois, " By what devil of a road 
have these men at arms come t and how have they crossed 
the Lis .'' " He replied, "They must have crossed in boats, 
and we have known nothing of the matter ; for there is 
neither bridge nor passable ford over the Lis between this 
and Courtray." — " What shall we do .'' " said some of them 
to Peter du Bois: "shall we offer them battle .■'" — "By 
no means," replied Peter : "let them advance, but we will 
remain in our strength and in our place : we are on high 

Froissart's Chronicles. 337 

ground, and they on low, so that we have great advantage 
over them ; and, if we descend to meet them in the plain, 
we shall lose it. Let us wait until the night become more 
obscure, and then we will consider how we had best act. 
They are not of force sufficient to withstand us in battle ; 
and, besides, we are acquainted with all the roads of the 
country, of which they must be ignorant." This advice 
was followed ; for the Flemings never budged from their 
post, but remained steady at the foot of the bridge, drawn 
up in order of battle on the causeway, in silence, and, by 
their appearance, seemed as if they had not noticed what 
was passing. Those who had crossed the river continued 
advancing slowly through the marshes, following the 
course of it as they approached Commincs. 

The Constable of France, on the opposite side of the 
water, saw his men at arms, with banners and pennons 
fluttering in the wind, drawn up in a handsome small bat- 
talion, and marching toward Commines. On seeing this 
his blood began to run cold from the great dread he had 
of their being defeated ; for he knew the Flemings were 
in great force on that side of the water. In the excess 
of rage he cried out, " Ah, St. Ives ! ha, St. George ! ha. 
Our Lady ! what do I see there .'' I see in part the flower 
of our army, who are most unequally matched. I would 
rather have died than have witnessed this. Ah ! Sir 
Louis de Sancerre, I thought you more temperate and 
better taught than I see you now are : how could you have 
hazarded so many noble knights and squires and men at 
arms against ten or twelve thousand men, who are proud, 
presumptuous, and well prepared, and who will show them 
no mercy, while we are unable, if there should be a neces- 
sity, to aid them .? Ah, Rohan ! ah, Laval ! ah, Rieux ! 
ah, Beaumanoir ! ah, Loiigucville ! ah, Rochfort I ah. 

338 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

Manny ! ah, Malatrait ! ah, Conversant ! ah, such a one 
and such a one! — how afflicted am I for you all, when, 
without consulting me, you have run into such imminent 
danger ! Why am I Constable of France ? for if you be 
conquered I shall incur all the blame, and they will say 
I ordered you on this mad enterprise." The constable, 
before he heard that such numbers of valiant men had 
crossed, had forbidden any of those near him to pass the 
river ; but, when he saw the appearance of those who had 
passed, he said aloud, " I give free liberty for all who wish 
it to cross, if they be able." 

At these words the knights and squires stepped forth, 
seeking means to cross the bridge ; but it was soon night, 
and they were forced to leave off their attempt, though 
they had begun to lay planks on the beams, and even 
some had placed their targets to make a road : so that the 
Flemings who were in Commines had enough to do to 
watch them, and were puzzled how to act, for on the one 
hand they saw below the bridge, in the marshes, a large 
body of men at arms who had halted with their lances 
advanced before them, and to whom great re-enforcements 
were coming, and, on the other, those of the vanguard on 
the opposite side of the bridge were constantly skirmish- 
ing with them, and exerting themselves lustily to repair 
the bridge. 

In this situation were the French who had that evening 
crossed over in boats. They had halted on the marshes, 
in mud and filth up to their ankles. Now consider what 
must have been their courage and difficulties, when in 
these long winter-nights they thus remained a whole 
night with their arms and helmets on, with their feet in 
the mire, and without any sort of refreshments. Cer- 
tainly, I say, they are worthy of great renown ; for they 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 339 

were but a handful of men in comparison with the Flem- 
ings in Commines and in that neighborhood. They dared 
not therefore advance to attack them, and for this reason 
had halted, saying among themselves, "Let us stop here 
until it be daylight, when we shall have a sight of these 
Flemings who quit not the advantage of their intrench- 
ments ; but at last they will not fail to come to us, and 
when near we will shout our war-cries with a loud voice, 
each his own cry, or the cry of his lord, notwithstanding 
all our lords may not have joined us. By this means we 
shall frighten them, when we will fall on them with a 
thorough good will. It is in the power of God, and within 
the compass of our own ability, to defeat them ; for tliey 
are badly armed, while our spears and swords are of well- 
tempered steel from Bordeaux; and the habergeons they 
wear will be a poor defence, and cannot prevent our blows 
from penetrating through them." With such hopes as 
these did those who had passed the river comfort them- 
selves, and remain in silence during the night. 


The French who had crossed the Lis defeat, with great 
Slaughter, Peter du Bois and the Flemings. — The Vanguard 
OF the French Army repair and pass over the Bridge of 

PETER DU BOIS, knowing these men at arms were 
in the marshes joining Commines, was not perfectly 
at his case, for he was uncertain what might be the event. 
He had, however, under his command, six or seven thou- 
sand men, to whom, during the night, he had thus spoken ; 

340 Froissart''s Chronicles. 

"The men at arms who have crossed the river to fight with 
us are neither of iron nor steel. They have labored hard 
this whole day, and have been all night standing in these 
marshes, so that it is possible that toward daybreak they 
will be overpowered with sleep. While they are in this 
situation, we will come slyly to attack them. Our numbers 
are sufficient to surround them, but, when we have so 
done, let no one dare to rush upon them, but remain 
silent ; for, when it shall be proper time for you to act, I 
will inform you." To this command of Peter they all 
promised obedience. On the other hand, the barons, 
knights, and squires, who had remained in the marshes so 
near the enemy, were far from being comfortable : some of 
them were up to their ankles in mud, and others half way 
up their legs. But their eagerness and joy, on gaining 
this pass with so much honor (for very gallant deeds of 
arms were likely to ensue), made them forget all their 
pains and difficulties. If it had been in summer-time, in- 
stead of the seventh day of November, they would have 
enjoyed it ; but now the ground was cold, muddy, and dirty, 
and the nights were long. At times also it rained heavily 
on their heads ; but it ran off, as they had their helmets on, 
and every thing prepared for the combat, and were only 
waiting for the enemy to come and attack them. The 
great attention they paid to be in readiness kept up their 
spirits, and made them almost forget their situation. 

The Lord de St. Py full loyally acquitted himself in this 
expedition, as a scout and observer of what the Flemings 
were doing, though he was the commander-in-chief. He 
was continually on the lookout, and went privily to recon- 
noitre their motions. On his return he said to his com- 
panions in a low voice, "Now up: our enemies are very 
quiet Perhaps they will advance on us at daybreak : 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 34] 

therefore be on your guard, and prepare to act." He 
would then return again to see if any thing were going 
forward, and then come back to tell what he had observed. 
This he continued to do until the hour which the Flem- 
ings had fixed upon to attack them. It was on the point 
of day when they began their march in close order, with- 
out uttering a word. The Lord de St. Py, who was on the 
watch, no sooner saw this manoeuvre than he found they 
were in earnest, and, hastening to his companions, said to 
them, " Now, my lords, be alert : we have but to do our 
utmost, for our enemy is on his march, and will be instantly 
here. These barons of new date are advancing slowly, 
and think to catch and surprise us : show yourselves true 
men at arms, for we shall have a battle." As the Lord dc 
St. Py uttered these words, the knights and squires, with 
great courage, seized their long Bordeaux spears, and, hav- 
ing grasped them with a hasty will, placed themselves in 
as good order as any knights or squires could devise. 

When the Flemings advanced to the combat, the knights 
and squires began to utter their war-cries, insomuch that 
the constable and vanguard, who had not yet crossed the 
bridge, heard them, and said, " Our friends are engaged : 
may God help them ! for at this moment we are unable to 
give them any assistance." Peter du Bois marched in 
front, and was followed by his Flemings ; but, when they 
approached the P'rench, they were received on the sharp 
points of their long Bordeaux spears, to which their coats 
of mail made not more resistance than if they had been of 
cloth thrice doubled ; so that they passed through their 
bodies, heads, and stomachs. 

When the Flemings felt these sharp spears which 
impaled them, they fell back, and the French advancing 
gained ground upon them ; for there were none so hardy 

342 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

but that feared their strokes. Peter du Bois was one of 
the first who was wounded, and run through by a lance. 
It came quite out at his shoulder : he was also wounded on 
the head, and would have been instantly slain if it had not 
been for the body-guard he had formed, of tiiirty stout 
varlets, who, taking him in their arms, carried him as 
quickly as they could out of the crowd. The mud from 
the causeway to Commines was so deep that all these peo- 
ple sunk in it up to the middle of their legs. The men at 
arms, who had been long accustomed to their profession, 
drove down and slew the Flemings without let or hin- 
derance : they shouted, " St. Py forever ! " " Laval," " San- 
cerre," " Anghien ! " and the war-cries of others who were 
there. The Flemings were panic-struck, and began to 
give way, when they saw these knights attack them so 
vigorously, and pierce them through with their spears. 
They retreated, and, falling back on each other, were fol- 
lowed by the French, who marched through them or around 
them, always attacking the thickest bodies. They no more 
spared killing them than if they had been so many dogs ; 
and they were in the right, for, had the Flemings con- 
quered, they would have served them the same. 

The Flemings, finding themselves thus driven back, and 
that the men at arms had won the causeway and bridge, 
co'unselled together to set fire to the town, in hopes it 
would cause the French to retreat, or enable them to col- 
lect their people. This was executed, and fire set to sev- 
eral houses, which were instantly in flames ; but they were 
disappointed in thinking by this to frighten the French, 
for they pursued them as valiantly as before, fighting and 
slaying them on the ground, or in the houses whither they 
had retreated. Upon this the Flemings made for the open 
plain, where they collected in a body. They sent to Ver- 

Froissart's Chronicles. 343 

tain, Poperingue, Bergues, Rollers, Mesieres, Warneton, 
and the other neighboring towns, to urge them to come to 
their assistance at Commines. Those who fled, and the 
inhabitants of the villages near Commines, began to set 
their bells a-ringing, which clearly showed there was an 
engagement going forward. Some of them, however, 
began to slacken, and others to occupy themselves in sav- 
ing what they could of their goods, and to carry them to 
Ypres or Courtray. Women and children ran thither, 
leaving their houses full of furniture, cattle, and grain. 
Others again marched in haste toward Commines, to help 
their countrymen who were fighting. 

While this was passing, and those valiant knights who 
had crossed the Lis in boats were so gallantly engaged, 
the constable and vanguard were busily employed in at- 
tempting to repair the bridge and cross it. There was a 
very great throng, for the constable had given permission 
for all to pass it who could. There was much danger for 
those who crossed it first ; and the lords who did so were 
obliged to step on targets thrown on the beams of the 
bridge. When they had crossed, they began to strengthen 
the bridge, for they found the planks lying on the ground, 
which they put in their proper places. During the night 
two wagon-loads of hurdles were brought, which were of 
great use to them, so that shortly it was made as strong as 
ever. On Tuesday the whole vanguard passed, took pos- 
session of the place, and, as they crossed, fixed their quar- 
ters in the town. 

Those of the vanguard who were in Commines drove 
out the Flemings. There were slain of them in the streets 
and fields about four thousand, not including those killed 
in the pursuit, in windmills, and in monasteries, whither 
they had fled lor shelter; for, as soon as the Bretons had 

344 Froissarf s Chronicles. 

crossed, they mounted their horses, and began a chase after 
the Flemings, and overran the country, which was then 
rich and plentiful. 


The King of France crosses the Lis at the Bridge of Commines. 
— The Town of Ypres surrenders to him. — The King of 
France lodges in Ypres. — Peter du Bois prevents Bruges 

BLES HIS Forces to combat the French. 

WE will now return to the King of France, and say 
how he went on. When intelligence was brought 
him of Commines being conquered, that the Flemings 
were dispersed, and the bridge rebuilt, he set out from 
the abbey of Marquette where he had lodged, and marched 
with his whole army in battle-array, as was befitting him 
to do, toward Commines. The king and his uncles arrived 
at Commines on Tuesday, and took up their lodgings in 
the town ; from whence the vanguard had marched for the 
hill of Ypres, where they had fixed their quarters. On 
the Wednesday morning the king advanced to the hill of 
Ypres, where he remained until the baggage and the re- 
mainder of his army should cross the river at Commines 
or at Warneton ; for there were very numerous trains, and 
multitudes of horses. 

While the king and his whole army were on Mount 
Ypres, many markets were there held, and plenty of pil- 
lage was sold to those of Lille, Douay, and Tournay, 
indeed, to all who wished to buy. A piece of cloth of 
Vexin, Malines, Poperingue, or Commines, was sold for one 
franc. People were clothed there too cheaply. Some 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 345 

Bretons and other pillagers, determined on gain, went in 
large bodies, and loaded carts and horses with their booty 
of cloths, linen, knives, money in gold and silver, dishes 
and plates of silver, wherever they found them, which they 
sent, well packed up, to a place of safety on the other side 
of the Lis, or by their servants into France. 

The king and all the lords came to Ypres, where they 
quartered themselves as well as they could, and in as great 
numbers as the town would hold. They remained there 
to refresh themselves four or five days. 

We will now return to Philip, and say what he was 
doing. Being eager to combat the King of France, as he 
plainly showed, he ordered, on his arrival at Ghent, every 
man capable of bearing arms, after leaving a sufficient 
garrison in the town, to follow him. All obeyed ; for he 
gave them to understand that by the grace of God they 
would defeat the French, be lords of Ghent, and rank as 
sovereigns among other nations. Philip von Artaveld car- 
ried with him about ten thousand men as the arriere-ban : 
he had before sent to Bruges, Damme, Ardembourg, Sluys, 
to the seacoasts, the Ouatre Mestiers, and constable-wicks 
of Grammont, Dendremonde, and Alost, and had raised 
from those places about thirty thousand more. He and 
his whole army were quartered one night before Oudenarde : 
on the morrow they marched away, and came before Cour- 
tray : he had with him about fifty thousand men. The 
King of France received intelligence that Philip von Arta- 
veld was approaching, and, as it was said, with full sixty 
thousand men. Upon this the vanguard set off from 
Ypres, under the command of the Constable and Marshals 
of France, and encamped a league and a half from Ypres, 
between Rollers and Rosebecque. On the morrow the 
king and all the lords, with the main battalion and rear- 

346 Froissarfs CJiro7iicles. 

guard, quartered themselves there also. I must say that 
these lords, while they were in the field, suffered greatly ; 
for it was in the heart of winter, the beginning of Decem- 
ber, and it rained every day. They slept on the roads 
every night, for they were in daily and hourly expectation 
of a battle : it was commonly said in the army, " They 
will come to-morrow ; " which they believed, from the 
news the foragers brought when they returned from their 

The king was quartered in the midst of his army. The 
lords of France were much vexed at Philip for delaying, 
for they were very impatient of being out in such bad 
weather. It should be known, that with the king were all 
the flower of French knighthood : it was therefore highly 
presumptuous in Philip von Artaveld and the Flemings to 
think of fighting with them; for if they had been satisfied 
with continuing their siege of Oudenarde, and had slightly 
intrenched themselves, the French, considering the wetness 
of the season, would never have marched to seek them ; 
and, if they had done so, they would have combated them 
under the greatest disadvantages. But Philip was so vain 
of the good fortune he had met with at Bruges, that he 
thought nothing could withstand him, and he hoped he 
should be lord of the world. No other thoughts had 
he, and was nothing afraid of the King of France nor his 
army; for, if he had entertained any fears, he would not 
have done that which he did, as you shall hear related. 

Froissarf s Chronicles. 347 


Philip von Artaveld, having entertained his Captains at Sup- 

Morrow at the Battle of Rosebecque. 

PHILIP VON ARTAVELD, with his whole army, on 
the Wednesday evening preceding the battle, was 
encamped, in a handsome position, tolerably strong, 
between a ditch and grove, and with so good a hedge 
in front that they could not easily be attacked. It was 
between the hill and town of Rosebecque where the king 
was quartered. That same evening Philip gave a magnifi- 
cent supper to his captains at his quarters; for he had 
wherewithal to_ do so, as his provisions followed him. 
When the supper was over, he addressed them in these 
words : " My fair gentlemen, you are my companions in 
this expedition, and I hope to-morrow we shall have some- 
thing to do ; for the King of France, who is impatient to 
meet and fight with us, is quartered at Rosebecque. I 
therefore beg of you to be loyal, and not alarmed at any 
thing you shall see or hear ; for we are combating in a just 
cause, to preserve the franchises of Flanders, and for our 
right. Admonish your men to behave well, and draw them 
up in such manner that, by this means and our courage, we 
may obtain the victory. To-morrow, through God's grace, 
we shall not find any lord to combat with us, or any who 
will dare take the field, unless he mean to remain there ; 
and we shall gain greater honor than if we could have 
depended on the support of the English ; for, if they had 
been with us, they alone would have gained all the rcputa- 

348 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

tion. The flower of the French nobility is with the king, 
for he has not left one behind : order, therefore, your men 
not to grant quarter to any one, but to kill all who fall in 
their way. By this means we shall remain in peace ; for 
I will and command, under pain of death, that no prisoners 
be made, except it be the King of France. With regard 
to the king, I wish to support him, as he is but a child, and 
ought to be forgiven ; for he knows not what he does, and 
acts according as he is instructed : we will carry him to 
Ghent, and teach him Flemish : but as for dukes, earls, and 
other men at arms, kill them all. The common* people of 
France will never be angry with us for so doing ; for they 
wish, as I am well assured, that not one should ever return 
to France, and it shall be so." 

When these Flemish captains had retired, and all gone 
to their quarters to repose, the night being far advanced, 
those upon guard fancied they heard a great noise toward 
the Mont d'Or. Some of them were sent to see what it 
could be, and if the French were making any preparations 
to attack them in the night. On their return they re- 
ported that they had been as far as the place whence the 
noise came, but that they had discovered nothing. This 
noise, however, was still heard, and it seemed to some of 
them that their enemies were on the mount about a league 

Philip arose, and, wrapping himself in a gown, took a 
battle-axe, and went out of his tent to listen to this noise. 
It seemed to him as if there were a great tournament. 
He directly returned to his tent, and ordered his trumpet 
to be sounded to awaken the army. As soon as the sound 
of the trumpet was heard, it was known to be his. Those 
of the guard in front of the camp armed themselves, and 
sent some of their companions to Philip to know what he 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 349 

wished to have done, as he was thus early arming himself. 
On their arrival, he wanted to send them to the part 
whence the noise had come, to find out what it could be ; 
but they reported that that had already been done, and 
that there was no cause found for it. Philip was much 
astonished ; and they were greatly blamed, that, having 
heard a noise toward the enemy's quarters, they had re- 
mained quiet. "Ha," said they to Philip, "in truth we 
did hear a noise toward the Mont d'Or, and we sent to 
know what it could be ; but those who had been ordered 
thither reported that there was nothing to be found or 
seen. Not having seen any positive appearance of a 
movement of the enemy, we were unwilling to alarm the 
army lest we should be blamed for it." This speech of the 
guard somewhat appeased Philip ; but in his own mind he 
marvelled much what it could be. Some said it was the 
devils of hell running and dancing about the place where the 
battle was to be, for the abundance of prey they expected. 
Neither Philip von Artaveld nor the Flemings were 
quite at their ease after this alarm. They were suspicious 
of having been betrayed and surprised. They armed 
themselves leisurely with whatever they had, made large 
fires in their quarters, and breakfasted comfortably, for 
they had victuals in abundance. About an hour before 
day, Philip said, " I think it right that we march into the 
plain, and draw up our men ; because, should the French 
advance to attack us, we ought not to be unprepared, nor 
in disorder, but properly drawn up like men, knowing well 
what we are to do." All obeyed this order, and, quitting 
their quarters, marched to the heath beyond the grove. 
There was in front a wide ditch newly made, and in their 
rear quantities of brambles, junipers, and shrubs. They 
drew up at their leisure in this strong position, and formed 

350 Froissart's Chronicles. 

one large battalion, thick and strong. By the reports from 
the constables they were about fifty thousand, all chosen 
men, who valued not their lives. Among them were about 
sixty English archers, who, having stolen away from their 
companions at Calais, to gain greater pay from Philip, had 
left behind them their armor in their quarters. 

Every thing being arranged, each man took to his arms. 
The horses, baggage, women, and varlets were dismissed ; 
but Philip von Artaveld had his page mounted on a superb 
courser, worth five hundred florins, which he had ordered 
to attend him, to display his state, and to mount if a pur- 
suit of the French should happen, in order that he might 
enforce the commands which he had given to kill all. It 
was with this intention that Philip had posted him by his 
side. Philip had likewise from the town of Ghent about 
nine thousand men, well armed, whom he placed near his 
person ; for he had greater confidence in them than any of 
the others : they therefore, with Philip at their head with 
banners displayed, were in front ; and those from Alost 
and Grammont were next ; then the men from Courtray, 
Bruges, Damme, Sluys, and the Franconate. They were 
armed, for the greater part, with bludgeons, iron caps, jer- 
kins, and with gloves of iron-work. Each man had a staff 
with an iron point, and bound round with iron. The dif- 
ferent townsmen wore liveries and arms, to distinguish 
them from one another. Some had jackets of blue and 
yellow, others wore a welt of black on a red jacket, others 
chevroned with white on a blue coat, others green and 
blue, others lozenged with black and white, others quar- 
tered red and white, others all blue. Each carried the 
banners of their trades. They had also large knives hang- 
ing down from their girdles. In this state they remained, 
quietly waiting for day, which soon came. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 351 


Philip von Artaveld and his Flemings quit the strong Position 


near TO Ypres. — The Constable and Admiral of France, with 
Sir William of Poitiers, set out to recTonnoitre their Situa- 

ON the Thursday morning all the men at arms of the 
army, the vanguard, the rear-guard, and the king's 
battalion, armed themselves completely, except their hel- 
mets, as if they were about to engage ; for the lords well 
knew the day could not pass without a battle, from the 
reports of the foragers on the Wednesday evening, who 
had seen the Flemings on their march demanding a battle. 
The King of France heard mass, as did the other lords, 
who all devoutly prayed to God that the day might turn 
out to their honor. In the morning there was a thick 
mist, which continued so long that no one could see the 
distance of an acre : the lords were much vexed at this, 
but they could not remedy it. 

After the king's mass, which had been attended by the 
constable and other great lords, it was ordered that those 
valiant knights Sir Oliver de Clisson, Constable of France, 
Sir John de Vienne, Admiral of France, and Sir William 
de Poitiers, who had been long used to arms, should rec- 
onnoitre the position of the Flemings, and report to the 
king and his uncles the truth of it ; during which time 
the Lord d'Albrcth and Sir Hugh de Chatillon were 
employed in forming the battalions. These three knights, 
leaving the king, set off on the flower of their steeds, and 
rode toward that part where they thought they should find 

352 Froissarfs C/u^onicles. 

the Flemings, and toward the spot where they had en- 
camped the preceding night. 

You must know that on the Thursday morning, when 
the thick mist came on, the Flemings having, as you have 
before heard, marched before daybreak to this strong 
position, had there remained until about eight o'clock, 
when, not seeing nor hearing any thing of the French, 
their numbers excited in them pride and self-sufficiency, 
and their captains, as well as others, began thus to talk 
among themselves : " What are we about, thus standing 
still, and almost frozen with cold ? Why do we not ad- 
vance with courage, since such is our inclination, and seek 
our enemies to combat them ? We remain here to no 
purpose, for the French will never come to look for us. 
Let us at least march to Mont d'Or, and take advantage 
of the mountain." Many such speeches were made, and 
they all consented to march to Mont d'Or, which was 
between them and the French. In order to avoid the 
ditch in their front, they turned the grove, and entered 
the plain. While they were thus on their march round the 
grove, the three knights came so opportunely that they 
reconnoitred them at their ease, and rode by the side of 
their battalions, which were again formed within a bow- 
shot from them. When they had considered them on the 
left, they did the same on the right, and thus carefully and 
fully examined them. The Flemings saw them plainly, 
but paid not any attention to them ; nor did any one quit 
his ranks. The three knights were well mounted, and so 
much used to this business that they cared not for them. 
Philip said to his captains, " Our enemies are near at 
hand : let us draw up here in battle-array for the combat. 
I have seen strong appearances of their intentions : for 
these three horsemen who pass and repass have reconnoi- 
tred us, and are still doing so." 

^^^rs3^=,iA ^'^'^''" "'■'^tiir^i ^ 

The Three Knights reconnoitring the Flemings in the MisL 

Froissart's Chronicles. 353 

Upon this the Flemings halted on the Mont d'Or, and 
formed in one thick and strong battalion ; when Philip 
said aloud, " Gentlemen, when the attack begins, remem- 
ber our enemies were defeated and broken at the battle of 
Bruges by our keeping in a compact body. Be careful not 
to open your ranks, but let every man strengthen himself 
as much as possible, and bear his staff right before him. 
You will intermix your arms, so that no one may break 
you, and march straight forward with a good step, without 
turning to the right or left ; and act together, so that, 
when the conflict begins, you may throw your bombards 
and shoot with your crossbows in such manner that our 
enemies may be thunderstruck with surprise." 

When Philip had formed his men in battle-array, and 
told them how to act, he went to the wing of his army in 
which he had the greatest confidence. Near him was his 
page on the courser, to whom he said, " Go, wait for me 
at that bush out of bow-shot ; and, when thou shalt see 
the discomfiture of the French and the pursuit begin, 
bring me my horse, and shout my cry ; they will make way 
for thee to come to me, for I wish to be the first in the 
pursuit." The page, on these words, left his master, and 
did as he had ordered him. Philip placed near him, on 
the side of this wing, forty English archers whom he had 
in his pay. Now, if it be considered how well Philip had 
arranged this business, I am of opinion (and in this I am 
joined by several others) that he well knew the art of war ; 
but in one instance, which I will relate, he acted wrong. 
It was in quitting the first strong position he had taken in 
the morning ; for they would never have sought to fight 
him there, as it would have been too much to their disad- 
vantage ; but he wished to show that his people were men 
of courage, and had little fear of their enemies. 

354 Froissart's Chronicles. 


The Battle of Rosebecque, between the French and Flem- 
ings. — Philip von Artaveld is slain, and his whole Army 

THE three knights returned to the King of France and 
to his battalions, which had ah-eady been formed and 
were marching slowly in order of battle; for there were 
many prudent and brave men, who had been long accus- 
tomed to arms, in the vanguard, in the king's battalion, 
and in the rear-guard, who knew well what they were to 
do, for they were the flower of chivalry in Christendom. 
Way was made for them ; and the Lord de Clisson spoke 
first, bowing to the king from his horse, and taking ofT 
the beaver he wore, saying, " Sire, rejoice : these people 
are our own, and our lusty varlets will fight well with 
them." — "Constable," replied the king, "God assist you! 
Now advance, in the name of God and St. Denis." The 
knights before mentioned as the king's body-guard now 
drew up in good order. The king created many new 
knights, as did different lords in their battalions, so that 
several new banners were displaved. 

It was ordered, that when the engagement was about to 
commence, the battalion of the king, with the oriflamme 
of France, should march to the front of the army, that the 
van and rear guards should form the two wings as speedily 
as possible, and by this" means enclose and straiten the 
Flemings, who were drawn up in the closest order, and 
gain a great advantage over them. Notice of this in- 
tended movement was sent to the rear-guard, of which the 

Froissart's Chronicles. 355 

Count cl'Eu, the Count dc Blois, the Count de St. Pol, the 
Count de Harcourt, the Count de Chatillon, and the Lord 
de la Gere were commanders. The young Lord de Hau- 
rel displayed his banner this day before the Count de 
Blois, who also knighted Sir Thomas dTstre, and Sir 
James de Hameth. According to the report of the her- 
alds, there were this day created four hundred and sixty- 
seven knights. 

The Lord de Clisson, Sir John de Vienne, and Sir Wil- 
liam de Langres, having made their report to the king, 
left him, and went to their post in the vanguard. Shortly 
afterwards the orifiamme was displayed by Sir Peter de 
Villiers, who bore it. Some say (as they find it written) 
that it was never before displayed against Christians, and 
that it was a matter of great doubt during the march 
whether it should be displayed or not. However, the 
matter having been fully considered, they resolved to dis- 
play it, because the Flemings followed opinions contrary 
to that of Pope Clement, and called themselves Urbanists ; 
for which the French said they were rebellious and out of 
the pale of the Church. This was the principal cause why 
it had been brought and displayed in Flanders, 

The orifiamme was a most excellent banner, and had 
been sent from heaven with great mystery : it is a sort of 
gonfalon, and is of much comfort in the day of battle to 
those who see it. Proof was made of its virtues at this 
time ; for all the morning there was so thick a fog, that 
with difificulty could they see each other, but the moment 
the knight had displayed it, and raised his lance in the air, 
this fog instantly dispersed, and the sky was as clear as it 
had been during the whole year. The lords of France 
were much rejoiced when they saw this clear day, and the 
sun shine, so that they could look about them on all sides. 

356 Fj-oissarfs Chronicles. 

It was a rine sight to view these banners, hehiiets, and 
beautiful emblazoned arms : the army kept a dead silence, 

not uttering- a sound, but eyed a large battalion of Flem- 
ings before them, who were marching in a compact body, 
with their staves advanced in the air, which looked like 
spears ; and so great were their numbers, they had the 
appearance of a wood. The Lord d'Estonnenort told me 
that he saw (as well as several others), when the orifiamme 
was displayed, and the fog had dispersed, a white dove fly 
many times round the king's battalion. When it had 
made several circles, and the engagement was about to 
begin, it perched on one of the king's banners : this was 
considered as a fortunate omen. 

The Flemings advanced so near, that they commenced 
a cannonade with bars of iron, and quarrels headed with 
brass. Thus was the battle begun by Philip and his men 
against the king's battalion, which at the outset was very 
sharp ; for the Flemings, inflamed with pride and courage, 
came on with vigor, and, pushing with shoulders and 
breasts like enraged wild boars, they were strongly inter- 
laced, one with the other, tjaat they could not be broken, 
nor their ranks forced. By this attack of cannons and 
bombards, the Lord d'Albaruin, banneret, INIorlet de Haru- 
in, and James Dore, on the side of the French, were first 
slain, and the king's battalion obliged to fall back. But 
the van and rear guards pushed forward, and, by enclosing 
the Flemings, straitened them much. Upon the two wings 
these men at arms made their attack, and, with their 
well-tempered lances of Bordeaux, pierced through their 
coats of mail to the flesh. All who were assailed by them 
drew back to avoid the blows, for never would those that 
escaped return to the combat. BythiB means, the Flem- 
ings were so straitened that they could not ilse their staves 

Froissart's Chronicles. 357 

to defend themselves. They lost both strength and breath, 
and, falling upon one another, were stifled to death with- 
out striking a blow, 

Philip von Artaveld was surrounded, wounded by spears, 
and beaten down, with numbers of the Ghent men, who 
were his guards. When Philip's page saw the ill success 
of his countrymen, being well mounted on his courser, he 
set off, and left his master, for he could not give him any 
assistance, and returned toward Courtray, on his way to 
Ghent. When the Flemings found themselves enclosed 
on two sides, there was an end to the business, for they 
could not assist each other. The king's battalion, which 
had been somewhat disordered at the beginning, now re- 
covered. The men at arms knocked down the Flemings 
with all their might. They had well-sharpened battle- 
axes, with which they cut through helmets, and disbrained 
heads : others gave such blows with leaden maces, that 
nothing could withstand them. Scarcely were the Flem- 
ings overthrown before the pillagers advanced, who, mixing 
with the men at arms, made use of the long knives they 
carried, and finished slaying whoever fell into tlieir hands, 
without more mercy than if they had been so many dogs. 
The clattering on the helmets, by the axes and leaden 
maces, was so loud, that nothing else could be heard for 
the noise. I was told, that if all the armorers of Paris 
and Bruxelles had been there working at their trade, they 
could not have made a greater noise than these combat- 
ants did on the helmets of their enemies ; for they struck 
with all their force, and set to their work with the greatest 
good-will. Some, indeed, pressed too forward into the 
crowd, and were surrounded and slain : in particular, Sir 
Louis de Gousalz, a knight from Bferry, and Sir Fleton de 
Reniel. There were several more, which was a great pity ; 

358 Froissart's Chronicles. 

but in such a battle as this, where such numbers are en- 
gaged, it is not possible for \'ictory to be obtained without 
being dearly bought ; for young knights and squires, eager 
to gain renown, willingly run into perils in hopes of 

The crowd was now so great, and so dangerous for 
those enclosed in it, that the men at arms, if not instantly 
assisted, could not raise themselves when once down. By 
this were several of the French killed and smothered ; but 
they were not many, for, when in danger, they heljoed each 
other. There was a large and high amount of the Flem- 
ings who were slain ; and never was there seen so little 
blood spilt at so great a battle, where such numbers were 
killed. When those in the rear saw the front fail, and that 
they were defeated, they were greatly astonished, and 
began to throw away their staves and armor, to disband, 
and fly toward Courtray and other places, not having any 
care but to save themselves if possible. The Bretons 
and French pursued them into ditches, alder-groves, and 
heaths, where they fought with and slew them. Numbers 
were killed in the pursuit, between the field of battle and 
Courtray, whither the)' were flying in their way to 

This battle on INIont d'Or took place the twenty- seventh 
day of November, on the Thursday before Advent, in the 
year of grace 13S2 ; and at that time the King of France 
was fourteen years of age. 

jFroissar/'s CJironicles. 359 


The Number of Slain at the Battle of Rosebecque, and Pursuit 



THUS were the Flemings defeated on Mont d'Or, their 
pride humbled, and Philip von Artaveld slain ; and 
with him nine thousand men from Ghent and its depen- 
dencies (according to the report of the heralds) on the 
spot, not including those killed in the pursuit, which 
amounted to twenty-five thousand more. This battle, 
from the beginning to the defeat, did not last more than 
half an hour. 

When the King of France arrived at his camp, where 
his magnificent pavilion of red silk had been pitched, and 
when he had been disarmed, his uncles, and many barons 
of France, came, as was right, to attend him. Philip von 
Artaveld then came into his mind, and he said, " If Philip 
is dead or alive, I should like to see him." They replied, 
they would have a search made for him. It was pro- 
claimed through tlie army, that whoever should discover 
the body of Philip von Artaveld should receive one hun- 
dred francs. Upon this the varlets examined the dead, 
who were all stripped, or nearly so ; and Philip through 
avarice was so strictly sought after, that he was found by 
a varlet, who had formerly served him some time, and who 
knew him perfectly. He was dragged before the king's 
pavilion. The king looked at him for some time, as did 
the other lords. He was turned over and over to see if. 
he had died of wounds, but they fcjund none that could 

360 Froissart's Chronicles. 

have caused his death. He had been squeezed in the 
crowd, and, falling into a ditch, numbers of Ghent men 
fell upon him, who died in his company. When they had 
sufficiently viewed him, he was taken from thence, and 
hanged on a tree. Such was the end of Philip von Arta- 



Froissaut sets out on Journey to Bearn, to seek Admission to 
THE Household of the Count de Foix. 

IN order to know the truth of distant transactions, 
without sending upon the inquiry any other in place 
of myself, I took an opportunity of visiting that high and 
redoubted prince Gaston Phoebus, Count de Foix and de 
Bearn ; for I well knew, that if I were so fortunate as to 
be admitted into his household, and to remain there in 
quiet, I could not choose a situation more proper to learn 
the truth of every event, as numbers of foreign knights 
and squires assembled there from all countries, attracted 
by his high birth and gentility. It fell out just as I had 

I told this my intention to my very renowned lord the 
Count de Blois, and also the journey I wished to under- 
take, who gave me letters of recommendation to the Count 
de Foix. I began my journey, inquiring on all sides for 
news ; and, through the grace of God, continued it, with- 
out peril or hurt, until I arrived at the count's residence, 
at Orthes in Bearn, on St. Catherine's Day in the year of 
grace 1388. The Count de Foix, as soon as he saw me, 

* I devote my selections from this book mainly to showing the manner 
in which the good canon Froissart picked up matter for his Chronicles from 
the conversation of chance travellers as he rode on his way ; together with 
a glimpse of the handsome person and brilliant court of the great Bearnese 
lord Gaston Phoebus, Count do Foix. The time is the year 13SS. — Ed. 


362 Froissarfs Chroiticles. 

gave me a hearty welcome, adding, with a smile and in 
good French, that he was well acquainted with me, though 
he had never seen me before, but he had frequently heard 
me spoken of. He retained me in his household, and, by 
means of the letters which I had brought, gave me full 
liberty to act as I pleased as long as I should wish to 
remain with him. I there learnt the greater part of those 
events which had happened in the kingdoms of Castile, 
Portugal, Navarre, Aragon, even in England, in the Bour- 
bonnois, and every thing concerning the whole of Gascony. 
He himself, when I put any question to him, answered it 
most readily, saying that the history I was employed on 
would in times to come be more sought after than any 
other; "because," added he, "my fair sir, more gallant 
deeds of arms have been performed within these last fifty 
years, and more wonderful things have happened, than for 
three hundred years before." 

I was thus received by the Count de Foix in his hotel, 
and entertained according to my pleasure. My wish was 
to inquire after news relative to my history ; and I had 
at my option barons, knights, and squires, who gave me 
information, as well as the gallant Count de Foix himself. 
I will therefore illustrate, in good language, all I there 
learnt, to add to my materials, and to give examples to 
those worthies who wish to advance themselves in renown. 
If I have heretofore dwelt on gallant deeds, attacks, and 
captures of castles, towns, and forts, on hard-fought battles 
and skirmishes, many more will now ensue ; all of which, 
by God's grace, I will truly narrate. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 


Sir John Froissart, in his Journey toward Bearn, is accompanied 
BY A Knight attached to the Count de Foix, who relates to 
HIM how t^e Garrison of Lourde took Ortingas and Le Pal- 
lier, on the Renewal of the War in Guyenne, after the 
Rupture of the Peace of Bretigny. 

AT the time I undertook my journey to visit the Count 
de Foix, reflecting on the diversity of countries I had 
never seen, I set out from Carcassonne, leaving the road 
to Toulouse on the right hand, and came to Monteroral, 
then to Tonges, then to Belle, then to the first town in 
the county of Foix ; from thence to Maisieres, to the castle 
of Sauredun ; then to the handsome city of Pamiers, which 
belongs to the Count de Foix, where I halted to wait for 
company that were going to Bearn, where the count re- 
sided. I remained in the city of Pamiers three days ; it 
is a very delightful place, seated among fine vineyards, 
and surrounded by a clear and broad river called the 
Liege. Accidentally, a knight attached to the Count de 
Foix, called Sir Espaign du Lyon, came thither on his 
return from Avignon : he was a prudent and valiant 
knight, handsome in person, and about fifty years of age. 
I introduced myself to his company, as he had a great 
desire to know what was doing in France. We were six 
days on the road travelling to Orthes. As we journeyed, 
the knight, after saying his orisons, conversed the greater 
part of the day with me, asking for news ; and when I 
put any questions to him he very willingly answered them. 
On our departure from Pamiers wc crossed the mountain 
of Cesse, which is difficult of ascent, and passed near the 

364 Froissart's Chronicles. 

town and castle of Ortingas, which belongs to the King of 
France, but did not enter it. We went to dine at a castle 
of the Count de Foix, half a league farther, called Carlat, 
seated on a high mountain. After dinner the knight said, 
/'Let us ride gently : we have but two leagues of this coun- 
try (which are equal to three of France) to our lodging." 
•^ — "Willingly," answered I. " Now," said the knight, " we 
have this day passed the castle of Ortingas, the garrison 
of which did great mischief to all this part of the country. 
Peter d'Anchin had possession of it ; he took it by sur- 
prise, and has gained sixty thousand francs from France." 
— " How did he get so much } " said I. " I will tell you," 
replied the knight. " On the feast of Our Lady, the 
middle of August, a fair is holden, where all the country 
assemble, and there is much merchandise brought thither 
during that time. Peter d'Anchin and his companions of 
the garrison of Lourde had long wanted to gain this town 
and castle, but could not devise the means. They had, 
however, in the beginning of May, sent two of their men, 
of very simple outward appearance, to seek for service in 
the town : they soon found masters who were so well satis- 
fied with them, that they went in and out of the town 
whenever they pleased, without any one having the small- 
est suspicion of them. 

" When mid-August arrived, the town was filled with 
foreign merchants from Foix, Beam, and France ; and 
you know, when merchants meet, after any considerable 
absence, they are accustomed to drink plentifully together 
to renew their acquaintance, so that the houses of the 
masters of the two servants were quite filled, where they 
drank largely, and their landlords with them. At mid- 
night Peter d'Anchin and his company advanced toward 
Ortingas, and hid themselves and horses in the wood 

Froissart's Chronicles. 365 

through which we passed. He sent six varlets with two 
ladders to the town, who, having crossed the ditches where 
they had been told was the shallowest place, fixed their 
ladders against the walls ; the two pretended servants, 
who were in waiting, assisted them (while their masters 
were seated at table) to mount the walls. They were no 
sooner up, than one of the servants conducted their com- 
panions toward the gate where only two men guarded the 
keys : he then said to them, ' Do you remain here, and not 
stir until you shall hear me whistle ; then sally forth, and 
slay the guards. I am well acquainted with the keys, 
having more than seven times guarded the gate with my 

"As he had planned, so did they execute, and hid them- 
selves well. He then advanced to the gate, and, having 
listened, found the watch drinking : he called them by 
their names, for he was acquainted with them, and said, 
* Open the door : I bring you the best wine you ever 
tasted, which my master sends you that you may watch 
the better.' Those who knew the varlet imagined he was 
speak'ng the truth, and opened the door of the guard- 
room : upon this he whistled, and his companions sallied 
forth, and pushed between the door, so that they could 
not shut it again. The guards were thus caught cun- 
ningly, and so quietly slain that no one knew any thing 
of it. They then took the keys, and went to the gate, 
which they opened, and let down the drawbridge so gently 
it was not heard. This done, they sounded a horn with 
one blast only, v/hich those in ambuscade hearing, they 
mounted their horses, and came full gallop over the bridge 
into the town, where they took all its inhabitants, either 
at table or in their beds. Thus was Ortingas taken by 
Peter d'Anchin of Bigorrc and his companions in Lourdc." 

366 Froissart's Chronicles. 

I then asked the knight, "But how did they gain the 
castle?" — " I will tell you," said Sir Espaign du Lyon. 
" At the time the town was taken, by ill-luck the governor 
was absent, supping with some merchants from Carcas- 
sonne, so that he was made prisoner; and on the morrow 
Peter d'Anchin had him brought before the castle where- 
in were his wife and children, whom he frightened by 
declaring he would order the governor's head to be struck 
off if they did not enter into a treaty to deliver up the 
castle. It was concluded, that, if his lady would surrender, 
the governor should be given up to her, with permission 
to march unmolested away with every thing that belonged 
to them. The lady, who found herself in such a critical 
situation, through love to him who could not now defend 
her, in order to recover her husband and to avoid greater 
dangers, surrendered the castle, when the governor, his 
wife, and children, set out with all that belonged to them, 
and went to Pamiers. By this means Peter d'Anchin cap- 
tured the town and castle of Ortingas ; and, when they 
entered the place, he and his companions gained thirty 
thousand francs, as wx^ll in merchandise which they found 
there, as in good French prisoners. All those who were 
from the county of Foix or Beam received their liberty, 
with their goods untouched. 

" Peter d'Anchin held Ortingas for full five years ; and 
he and his garrison made frequent excursions as far as the 
gates of Carcassonne, which is sixteen long leagues dis- 
tant, greatly ruining the country, as well by the ransoms of 
towns which compounded, as by the pillage they made. 
During the time Peter d'Anchin garrisoned Ortingas, 
some of his companions made a sally, being desirous of 
gain, and came to a castle a good league off, called Le 
Paillier, of which Raymond du Paillier, a French knight, 

Froissart 's Chron ides. 367 

was the lord. They this time accomphshed their enter- 
prise, having before attempted it in vain ; and, by means 
of a scalado, they took the castle, the knight and his lady 
in bed. They kept possession of it, allowing the lady 
and the children to depart, but detained the knight 
four months in his own castle, until he had paid four thou- 
sand francs fot his ransom. In short, after they had 
sufficiently harassed the country, they sold these two cas- 
tles, Ortingas and Le Paillier, for eight thousand francs, 
and then retired to Lourde, their principal garrison. Such 
feats of arms and adventures were these companions daily 


Froissart continues his Journey. — In travelling from Tournay 
TO Tarbes, the Knight relates to him how the Garrison of 
Lourde had a sharp Rencounter with the French from the 
adjacent Garrisons. 

IN the morning we mounted our horses, set out from 
Tournay, passed the river Lesse at a ford, and, riding 
toward the city of Tarbes, entered Bigorre. 

I recollected what he had said some days before respect- 
ing the country of Larre and Mengeant de Lourde, and, 
reminding him of them, said, " My lord, you promised that 
when we came to the country of Larre, you would tell 
me more of Mengeant de Lourde, and the manner of his 
death." — " It is true," replied the knight : " come and ride 
by my side, and I will tell it you." I then pushed for- 
ward to hear him the better, when he began as follows : — 

"During the time Peter d'Anchin held the castle and 
garrison of Ortingas, as I have before related, those of 

368 Froissart's Chronicles. 

Lourde made frequent excursions at a distance from their 
fort, when they had not always the advantage. 

" It was told to the governor of Tarbes, a squire of Gas- 
cony, called Ernauton Biffete, how those of Lourde were 
overrunning and harassing the country ; and he sent infor- 
mation of this to the Lord de Benach and to Enguerros de 
Lane, son of Sir Raymond, and also to the Lord de Bar- 
basan, adding, he was determined to attack them. These 
knights and squires of Bigorre, having agreed to join him, 
assembled their men in the town of Tournay, through 
which the garrison of Lourde generally returned. When 
those of Lourde heard that the French garrisons were 
waiting for them at Tournay, they began to be alarmed, 
and called a council to determine how to conduct their 
pillage in safety. It was resolved to divide themselves 
into two parties : one, consisting of servants and pillagers, 
was to drive the booty, and take by-roads to Lanebourg, 
crossing the bridge of Tournay, and the river Lesse be- 
tween Tournay and Malvoisin ; the other division was to 
march in order of battle on the high grounds, and to make 
an appearance as if they meant to return by the pass of 
Larre below Marteras, but to fall back between Barbasan 
and Montgaillard, in order that the baggage might cross 
the river in safety. They were to meet all together at 
Montgaillard, from whence they would soon be at Lourde. 

"The French, in like manner as those of Lourde, had 
called a council respecting their mode of acting. Sir 
Monant de Barbasan and Ernauton Biscete said, ' Since 
we know the men of Lourde are bringing home great plun- 
der and many prisoners, we shall be much vexed if they 
escape us : let us therefore form two ambuscades, for we 
are enough for both.' Upon this it was ordered, that Le 
Bourg d'Espaign, Sir Raymond de Benach, and Enguerros 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 369 

de Lane, with one hundred spears, should guard the pas- 
sage at Tournay, for the cattle and prisoners must neces- 
sarily cross the river ; and the Lord de Barbasan and 
Ernauton Biscete, with the other hundred lances, should 
reconnoitre, if perchance they could come up with them. 
They separated from each other; and the Lord de Benach, 
and Le Bourg d'Espaign, placed themselves in ambuscade 
at the bridge between Tournay and Malvoisin. The other 
division rode to the spot where we now are, which is 
called the Larre, and there the two parties met. They 
instantly dismounted, and, leaving their horses to pasture, 
with pointed lances advanced, for a combat was unavoida- 
ble, shouting their cries, ' St. George for Lourde ! ' ' Our 
Lady for Bigorre ! ' 

"They charged each other, thrusting their spears with 
all their strength, and, to add greater force, urged them 
forward'with their breasts. The combat was very equal ; 
and for some time none were struck down, as I heard from 
those present. When they had sufficiently used their 
spears, they threw them down, and with battle-axes began 
to deal out terrible blows on both sides. When any were 
so worsted or out of breath that they could not longer 
support the fight, they seated themselves near a large 
ditch full of water in the middle of the plain, when, having 
taken off their helmets, they refreshed themselves : this 
done, they replaced their helmets, and returned to the com- 
bat. I do not believe there ever was so well-flight or so 
severe a battle as this of Marteras in Bigorre, since the 
famous combat of thirty English against thirty French 
knights in Brittany. 

"They fought hand to hand; and Ernauton de Sainte 
Colombe, an excellent man at arms, was on the point of 
being killed by a squire of the country called Guillonet de 

370 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

Salenges, who had pushed him so hard that he was quite 
out of breath, when I will tell you what happened : Ernau- 
ton de Sainte Colombe had a servant who was a spectator 
of the battle, neither attacking nor attacked by any one ; 
but, seeing- his master thus distressed, he ran to him, and, 
wresting the battle-axe from his hands, said, 'Ernauton, 
go and sit down: recover yourself: you cannot longer 
continue the' battle.' With this battle-axe he advanced 
upon the squire, and gave him such a blow on the helmet 
as made him stagger and almost fall down. Guillonet, 
smarting from the blow, was very wroth, and made for the 
servant to strike him with his axe on the head ; but the 
varlet avoided it, and grappling with the squire, who was 
much fatigued, turned him round, and flung him to the 
ground under him, when he said, ' I will put you to death, 
if you do not surrender yourself to my master.' — 'And 
who is thy master .? ' — ' Ernauton de Sainte Colomlje, with 
whom you have been so long engaged.' The squire, find- 
ing he had not the advantage, being under the servant, 
who had his dagger ready to strike, surrendered on condi- 
tion to deliver himself prisoner, within fifteen days, at the 
castle of Lourde, whether rescued or not. Of such ser- 
vice was this servant to his master ; and I must say. Sir 
John, that there was a superabundance of feats of arms 
that day performed, and many companions were sworn to 
surrender themselves at Tarbes and at Lourde. Ernauton 
Biscete and Le Mengeant de Sainte Basile fought hand to 
hand, without sparing themselves, and performed many 
gallant deeds, while all the others were fully employed : 
however, they fought so vigorously that they exhausted 
their strength, and both were slain on the spot. Thus 
fell Ernauton Biscete and Le Mengeant de Sainte Basile." 
"By my faith," said I to the knight, " I have listened to 

Froissart 's Chronicles. 3 7 1 

you with pleasure ; and in truth it was a very severe affair 
for so small a number. But what became of those who 
conducted the pillage?" — "I will tell you," replied he. 
"At the bridge of Tournay, below Malvoisin, where they 
intended to cross, they found the Bourg d'Espaign in 
ambuscade, who, on their arrival, sallied out upon tlicm, 
being in sufficient force. Those of Lourde could not 
retreat, and were obliged to abide the event. I must truly 
say that the combat was as severe and as long, if not 
longer than that at Marteras. The Bourg d'Espaign per- 
formed wonders : he wielded a battle-axe, and never hit a 
man with it but he struck him to the ground. He was 
well formed for this, being of a large size, strongly made, 
and not too much loaded with flesh. He took with his 
own hand the two captains, the Bourg de Cornillac and 
Perot Palatin de Beam." 

"Holy Mary!" said I to the knight, "this Bourg d'Es- 
paign, is he so strong a man as you tell me.''" — "Yes, 
that he is, by my troth," said he, "and you will not find 
his equal in all Gascony for vigor of body : it is for this 
the Count de Foix esteems him as his brother in arms. 
Three years ago I saw him play a ridiculous trick, which 
I will relate to you. On Christmas Day, when the Count 
de Foix was celebrating the feast with numbers of knights 
and squires, as is customary, the weather was piercing 
cold ; and the count had dined, with many lord.s, in the 
hall. After dinner he rose, and went into a gallery, which 
has a large staircase of twenty-four steps : in this gallery 
is a chimney where is a fire kept when the count inhabits 
it, otherwise not ; and the fire is never great, for he does 
not like it : it is not for want of blocks of wood, for Beam 
is covered with wood in plenty to warm him if he had 
chosen it, but he has accustomed himself to a small fire. 

372 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

When in the gallery he thought the fire too small, for it 
was freezing, and the weather very sharp ; and said to 
the knights around him, ' Here is but a small fire for this 
weather.' Ernauton d'Espaign instantly ran down stairs 
(for, from the windows of the gallery which looked into the 
court, he had seen a number of asses with billets of wood 
for the use of the house), and seizing the largest of these 
asses, with his load, threw him over his shoulders, and car- 
ried him up stairs, pushing through the crowd of knights 
and squires who were around the chimney, and flung ass 
and load, with his feet upward, on the dogs of the hearth ; 
to the delight of the count, and the astonishment of all, at 
the strength of the squire, who had carried, with such 
ease, so great a load up so many steps." 

This feat of strength did I hear ; and all the histories 
of Sir Espaign du Lyon gave me such satisfaction and 
delight, I thought the road was much too short. 


Sir John Froissart arrives at Orthes. — An old Squire relates 
to him the cruel death of the only son of the count de foix. 

ON the morrow we set out, and dined at Montgerbal, 
when having remounted, and drunk a cup at Ercie, 
we arrived by sunset at Orthes. The knight dismounted 
at his own house ; and I did the same at the Hotel of the 
Moon, kept by a squire of the count, called Ernauton du 
Pin, who received me with much pleasure on account of 
my being a Frenchman. Sir Espaign du Lyon, who had 
accompanied me, went to the castle to speak with the 
count on his affairs. He found him in his gallery, for a 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 373 

little before that hour he had dined. It was a custom 
with the count, which he had followed from his infancy, 
to rise at noon, and sup at midnight. 

The knight informed him of my arrival, and I was in- 
stantly sent for; for he is a lord above all others who 
delights to see strangers, in order to hear news. On my 
entering, he received me handsomely, and retained me of 
his household ; where I staid upward of twelve weeks well 
entertained, as were my horses. Our acquaintance was 
strengthened by my having brought with me a book which 
I had made at the desire of Winceslaus of Bohemia, Duke 
of Luxembourg and Brabant. In this book, called " Le 
Melikdor," are contained all the songs, ballads, roundelays, 
and virelays, which that gentle duke had composed, and of 
them I had made this collection. Every night after supper 
I read out to him parts ; during which time neither he nor 
any one else spoke, for he was desirous I should be well 
heard, and took much delight in it. When any passages 
were not perfectly clear, he himself discussed them with 
me, not in his Gascon language, but in very good French. 

I shall relate to you several things respecting him and 
his household, for I tarried there as long as I could gain 
any information. Count Gaston Phoebus de Foix, of whom 
I am now speaking, was at that time fifty-nine years old; 
and I must say, that although I have seen very many 
knights, kings, princes, and others, I have never seen any 
so handsome, either in the form of his limbs and shape, or 
in countenance, which was fair and ruddy, with gray and 
tender eyes, that gave delight whenever he chose to ex- 
press affection. He was so perfectly formed, one could 
not praise him too much. He loved earnestly the things 
he ought to love, and hated those which it was becoming 
him so to hate. He was a prudent knight, full of enter- 

374 Froissaj't's Chronicles. 

prise and wisdom. He Imd never any men of abandoned 
character witli liim, reigned prudently, and was constant 
in his devotions. There were regular nocturnals from the 
Psalter, prayers from the rituals to the Virgin, to the Holy 
Ghost, and from the burial-service. He had every day 
distributed as alms, at his gate, five florins in small coin, 
to all comers. He was liberal and courteous in his gifts ; 
and well knew how to take when it was proper, and to 
give back where he had confidence. He mightily loved 
dogs above all other animals, and during the summer and 
winter amused himself much with hunting. He never 
liked any foolish works nor ridiculous extravagances ; and 
would know every month the amount of his expenditure. 
He chose from his own subjects twelve of the most able 
to receive and administer his finances : two of them had 
the management for two months, when they were changed 
for two others ; and from them he selected one as comp- 
troller, in whom he placed his greatest confidence, and to 
whom all others rendered their accounts. This comp- 
troller accounted by rolls or written books, which were 
laid before the count. He had certain coffers in his apart- 
ment, from whence he took money to give to different 
knights, squires, or gentlemen, when they came to wait on 
him, for none ever left him without a gift ; and these sums 
he continually increased, in order to be prepared for any 
event that might happen. He was easy of access to all, 
and entered very freely into discourse, though laconic in 
his advice and in his answers. He employed four secre- 
taries to write and copy his letters; and these secretaries 
were obliged to be in readiness the moment he came out 
from his closet. He called them neither John, Walter, nor 
William, but his good-for-nothings, to whom he gave his 
letters after he had read them, either to copy, or to do any 

FroissarVs Chronicles. 375 

In such manner did the Count de Foix live. When he 
quitted his chamber at midnight for supper, twelve ser- 
vants bore each a lighted torch before him, which were 
placed near his table, and gave a brilliant light to the 
apartment. The hall was" full of knights and squires ; and 
there were plenty of tables laid out for any person who 
chose to sup. No one spoke to him at his table, unless he 
first began a conversation. He commonly ate heartily of 
poultry, but only the wings and thighs; for in the day- 
time he neither ate nor drank much. He had great pleas- 
ure in hearing minstrels, as he himself was a proficient in 
the science, and made his secretaries sing songs, ballads, 
and roundelays. He remained at table about two hours ; 
and was pleased when fanciful dishes were served up to 
him, which having seen, he immediately sent them to the 
tables of his knights and squires. 

In short, every thing considered, though I had before 
been in several courts of kings, dukes, princes, counts, 
and noble ladies, I was never at one that pleased me more, 
nor was I ever more delighted with feats of arms, than at 
this of the Count de Foix. 

I was very anxious to know, seeing the hotel of the 
count so spacious and so amply supplied, what was become 
of his son Gaston, and by what accident he had died, for 
Sir Espaign du Lyon would never satisfy my curiosity. I 
had made so many inquiries, that at last an old and intelli- 
gent squire informed me : — 

" Gaston, the son of my lord, grew up, and became a fine 
young gentleman. He was married to the daughter of the 
Count d'Armagnac, sister to the present count and to Sir 
Bernard d'Armagnac ; and by this union peace was insured 
between Foix and Armagnac. The youth might be about 
fifteen or sixteen years old : he was a very handsome figure, 

^']6 Fj'oissaj'f's Ch7'07iicles. 

and the exact resemblance of his father in his whole 

"He took it into his head to make a jouirney into Na- 
varre, to visit his mother * and uncle ; but it was an unfor- 
tunate journey for him and for this country. On his arri- 
val at Navarre, he was splendidly entertained ; and he staid 
some time with his mother. On taking leave, he could 
not prevail on her, notwithstanding his remonstrances and 
entreaties, to accompany him back ; for, the lady having 
asked if the Count de Foix, his father, had ordered him to 
bring her back, he replied that when he set out no such 
orders had been given ; which caused her to fear trusting 
herself with him. She therefore remained ; and the heir 
of Foix went to Pampeluna to take leave of his uncle. 
The king entertained hmi well, and detained him upward 
of ten days. On his departure, he made him handsome 
presents, and did the same by his attendants. The last 
gift the king gave him was the cause of his death, and I 
will tell you how it happened. As the youth was on the 
point of setting out, the king took him privately into his 
chamber, and gave him a bag full of powder, which was of 
such pernicious quality as would cause the death of any 
one that ate of it. 'Gaston, my fair nephew,' said the 
king, ' will you do what I am about to tell you .-* You see 
how unjustly the Count de Foix hates your mother, who 
being my sister, it displeases me as much as it should you. 
If you wish to reconcile your father to your mother, you 
must take a small pinch of this powder, and, when you see 
a proper opportunity, strew it over the meat destined for 

* His mother had been sent by her husband to bring home her dowr\-, in 
the hands of her brother the King of Navarre. The latter refused to send 
it ; and the lady therefore remained in his country, fearing the anger of her 
husband if she should return without it. — Ed. 

Froissart's Chronicles. T,yy 

your father's table ; but take care no one sees you. The 
instant he shall have tasted it, he will be impatient for his 
wife, your mother, to return to him ; and they will love 
each other henceforward so strongly, they will never again 
be separated. You ought to be anxious to see this accom- 
plished. Do not tell it to any one ; for, if you do, it will 
lose its effect.' The youth, who believed every thing his 
ancle the King of Navarre had told him, replied, he would 
cheerfully do as he had said ; and on this he departed from 
Pampeluna, on his return to Orthes. His father the Count 
de Foix received him with pleasure, and asked what was the 
news in Navarre, and what presents and jewels had been 
given him; he replied, 'Very handsome ones,' and showed 
them all, except the bag which contained the powder. 

" It was customary, in the hotel de Foix, for Gaston 
and his bastard brother Evan to sleep in the same cham- 
ber. They mutually loved each other, and were dressed 
alike, for they were nearly of the same size and age. It 
fell out, that their clothes were once mixed together ; and, 
the coat of Gaston being on the bed, Evan, who was ma- 
licious enough, noticing the powder in the bag, said to 
Gaston, ' What is this that you wear every day on your 
breast.''' Gaston was not pleased at the question, and 
replied, 'Give me back my coat, Evan: you have nothing 
to do with it.' liivan flung liim his coat, wliich Gaston put 
on, but was very pensive the whole day. Three days after, 
as if God was desirous of saving the life of the Count de 
Foix, Gaston quarrelled with Evan' at tennis, and gave him 
a box on the ear. The boy was vexed at this, and ran cry- 
ing to the apartment of the count, who had just heard 
mass. The count, on seeing him in tears, asked what was 
the matter. 'In God's name, my lord,' replied Evan, 'Gas- 
ton has beaten me : but he deserves beating much more 

378 FroissarVs Chronicles. 

than I do.' — ' For what reason ?' said the count, who began 
to have some suspicions. ' On my faith,' said Evan, 'ever 
since his return from Navarre, he wears on his breast a 
bag of powder : I know not what use it can be of, nor what 
he intends to do with it ; except that he has once or twice 
told me, his mother would soon return hither, and be more 
in your good graces than ever she was.' — ' Ho ! ' said the 
count, 'hold thy tongue, and be sure thou do not mention 
what thou hast just told me to any man breathing.' — ' My 
lord,' replied the youth, 'I will obey you.' The Count de 
Foix was very thoughtful on this subject, and remained 
alone until dinner-time, when he rose up, and seated him- 
self as usual at his table in the hall. His son Gaston al- 
ways placed the dishes before him, and tasted the meats.* 
As soon as he had served the first dish, and done what 
was usual, the count cast his eyes on him, having formed 
his plan, and saw the strings of the bag hanging from his 
pourpoint. This sight made his blood boil, and he said, 
'Gaston, come hither: I want to whisper you something.' 
The youth advanced to the table, when the count, opening 
his bosom, undid his pourpoint, and with his knife cut 
away the bag. The young man was thunderstruck, and 
said not a word, but turned pale with fear, and began to 
tremble exceedingly, for he was conscious he had done 
wrong. The count opened the bag, took some of the pow- 
der, which he strewed over a slice of bread, and, calling a 
dog to him, gave it him to eat. The instant the dog had 
eaten a morsel, his eyes rolled round in his head, and he 
died. The count on this was very wroth, and indeed had 
reason. Rising from table, he would have struck his son 

* The young readers of Froissart may remember this passage when they 
come to read Chaucer's account of the young squire who " Carf b}^orn his 
fadur at the table " (i.e., carved before his father at the table). — Ed. 

Froissarfs CJironicles. 379 

with a knife ; but the knights and squires rushed in between 
them, saying, ' For God's sake, my lord, do not be too 
hasty, but make further inquiries before you do any ill to 
your son.' The first words the count uttered were in Gas- 
con : ' Ho, Gaston, thou traitor ! for thee, and to increase 
thy inheritance which would have come to thee, have I 
made war, and incurred the hatred of the kings of France, 
England, Spain, Navarre, and Aragon, and have borne 
myself gallantly against them ; and thou wishest to mur- 
der me ! Thy disposition must be infamously bad : know 
therefore thou shalt die with this blow.' And leaping over 
the table, with a knife in his hand, he would have slain 
him ; but the knights and squires again interfered, and on 
their knees said to him with tears, ' Ah, ah ! my lord, for 
Heaven's sake, do not kill Gaston : you have no other 
child. Let him be confined, and inquire further into the 
business. Perhaps he was ignorant what was in the bag, 
and may therefore be blameless.' — 'Well,' replied the 
count, ' let hira be confined in the dungeon, but so safely 
guarded that he may be forthcoming.' The youth was 
therefore confined in this tower. I will tell you the cause 
of his death, since I have said so much on the subject. 
The Count de Foix had caused him to be confined in a 
room of the dungeon where was little light : there he re- 
mained for ten days. He scarcely ate or drank any thing 
of the food which was regularly brought to him, but threw 
it aside. The count would not permit any one to remain 
in the chamber to advise or comfort him : he therefore 
never put off the clothes he had on when he entered his 
prison. This made him melancholy, and vexed him, for he 
did not expect so much harshness : he therefore cursed 
the hour he was born, and lamented that he should come 
to such an end. On the day of his death, those who 

380 Froissart's Chronicles. 

brought him food said, ' Gaston, here is meat for you.' 
He paid not any attention to it, but said, ' Put it down,' 
The person who served him, looking- about, saw all the 
meat untouched that he had brought thither the last days : 
then, shutting the door, he went to the count, and said, 
' My lord, for God's sake, look to your son : he is starving 
himself in his prison. I do not believe he has eaten any 
thing since his confinement ; for I see all that I have 
carried to him lying on one side untouched.' On hearing 
this, the count was enraged, and, without saying a word, 
left his apartment, and went to the prison of his son. In 
an evil hour,,he had in his hand a knife, with which he 
had been paring and cleaning his nails ; he held it by the 
blade so closely that scarcely the thickness of a groat 
appeared of the point, when, pushing aside the tapestry 
that covered the entrance of the prison, through ill luck, 
he hit his son on a vein of his throat, as he uttered, ' Ha, 
traitor, why dost thou not eat 1 ' and instantly left the 
room, without saying or doing any thing more. The 3^outh 
was much frightened at his father's arrival, and withal 
exceedingly weak from fasting. The point of the knife, 
small as it was, cut a vein, which as soon as he felt he 
turned himself on one side, and died. The count had 
barely got back again to his apartment, when the attend- 
ants of his son came, and said, ' My lord, Gaston is dead.' 
— ' Dead ! ' cried the count. * Yes, God help me ! indeed 
he is, my lord.' The count would not believe it, and sent 
one of his knights to see. The knight, on his return, con- 
firmed the news. The count was now bitterly affected, 
and cried out, ' Ha, ha, Gaston ! what a sorry business has 
this turned out for thee and me ! In an evil hour didst 
thou go to visit thy mother in Navarre. Never shall I 
again enjoy the happiness I had formerly.' He then or- 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 381 

dered his barber to be sent for, and was shaven quite bare. 
He clothed himself, as well as his whole household, in 
black. The body of the youth was borne, with tears and 
lamentations, to the church of the Augustine Friars at 
Orthes, where it was buried. Thus have I related to you 
the death of Gaston de Foix: his father killed him indeed, 
but the Kin Of of Navarre was the cause of this sad event." 


The Duke of Bourbon is appointed Chief of an Expedition to 
Africa, that is undertaken by several Knights of France and 
England at the Solicitation of the Genoese. 

I HAVE delayed, for a long time, speaking of a grand 
and noble enterprise that was undertaken by some 
knights of France, England, and other countries, against 
the kingdom of Barbary. The text of the subject I mean 
to proceed on says, that about this time the Genoese were 
reported throughout France and other countries, to be de- 
sirous of raising a large army to invade Barbary ; and that 
all knights, squires, or men at arms, who would engage in 
this expedition, should be supplied with such purveyances 
as biscuit, fresh water, vinegar, and vessels and galleys to 
transport them thither. 

The cause of their forming this armament was, that the 
Africans had attacked the country of Genoa, plundering 
the islands belonging to them, and carrying off such from 
the coasts of Genoa as were not on their guard, by which 
they were kept under continual alarms. They possessed 
also a town, situated "on the sea-shore of Barbary, which 

* For the sake of further variety I extract from Froissart's fourth volume 
a lively picture of a crusade against the Saracens. The time is the last 
decade of the fourteenth centuiy ; more particularly, two months of the year 
1390. — Ed. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 383 

is beyond measure strong, and called Africa, surrounded 
with high walls, gates, and deep ditches. Like as the 
strong town of Calais is the key to France and Flanders, 
and whoever is master of it may at all times enter those 
countries, and from thence may be sent a powerful force 
by sea, to do mischief to their neighbors; just so is the 
town of Africa the stronghold of the inhabitants of Bar- 
bary, Bugia, and Tunis, and other infidel countries. The 
Genoese, who are rich merchants, bore great hatred to 
this town ; for its corsairs frequently watched them at sea, 
and, when strongest, fell on and plundered their ships, 
carrying their spoils to this town of Africa, which was, and 
is now, their place of deposit, and may be called their 

The Genoese, to put an end to such conduct, and satisfy 
the complaints of their subjects, that were daily made to 
them, determined to make their situation known to the 
court of France, and to offer to such knights as would 
undertake an expedition against the infidels, vessels of 
provision, with a passage thither and back free of all 
costs, provided that one of the king's uncles, or his brother 
the Duke of Touraine (who, being young, ought to labor 
to gain renown), would take the chief command. They 
likewise offered the aid of pilgrims, from foreign parts to 
assist them, twelve thousand select Genoese crossbows, 
and eight thousand infantry armed with spears and shields, 
all at their expense. They imagined, that as now there 
was a truce between France, England, and their allies, 
their knights would, from having nothing to do, be glad to 
join in this warfare, and that they should have numbers of 
them from those kingdoms. 

When this intelligence was first brought to the French 
knights, they were much rejoiced, in hope of gaining 

384 Froissart's Chronicles. 

honor; and the ambassadors from Genoa were told they 
should not return without their business being attended 
to, and succor afforded them, for their anxiety to extend 
the Christian faith was very praiseworthy. They waited 
at Paris, while it was under deliberation of the council 
who should be appointed commander-in-chief. The Duke 
of Touraine offered his services to the king and council ; 
but they, as well as the Dukes of Berry and Burgundy, 
remonstrated, that this command was not fit for him. 
They considered, that as the Genoese insisted on the 
king's brother, or one of his uncles, taking the command, 
the Duke of Bourbon would be the most proper person, 
and that he should have for his second the Lord de Coucy. 
The Genoese ambassadors having received a favorable 
answer from the king, and certain assurances of being 
assisted with knights and men at arms from France, under 
the command of the Duke of Bourbon, in the course of 
the year, were greatly contented. They took leave of the 
king, and returned to their own country, to relate the good 
news, and make preparations accordingly. 

Reports of an invasion of Barbary were soon spread 
throughout France. To some knights and squires it was 
agreeable, to others the contrary. All who were desirous 
of going thither could not, as it would have been at their 
own charges, for no lord paid for any but those of his own 
household. It was also ordered, that no one from France 
should make part of this expedition but such as had the 
king's leave, for the council wished not the realm to be 
void of defence; and the Genoese were expressly bound 
not to suffer any servants to embark, but solely such as 
were gentlemen, and who could be depended upon. It 
was, besides, meant as a compliment to the knights and 
squires of other nations who might wish to join in the 

Froissart's Chronicles. 385 

enterprise. This regulation gave pleasure to all foreign 
knights who heard of it. The Duke of Bourbon, having 
accepted the command, sent his servants to Genoa, where 
they were to embark, to make the necessary preparations 
for him and his household. The gallant Count d'Au- 
vergne, who was likewise of the expedition, did the same. 
The Lord de Coucy, Sir Guy de la Tremouille, Sir John 
de Vienne, and all the great barons and knights of France 
who had obtained leave to make part of this army, were 
not behindhand in sending thither purveyances suitable 
to their state. The Lord Philip d'Artois, Count d'Eu, Sir 
Philip de Bar, the Lord dc Harcourt, Sir Henry d'Antoing, 
did so likewise. From Brittany and Normandy many 
great lords made preparations for this expedition to Bar- 
bary, as well as from Hainault ; among the last were the 
Lord de Ligne and the Lord de Havreth. Several knights 
came from Flanders ; and the Duke of Lancaster had a 
bastard son, called Henry de Beaufort, whom, through de- 
votion, he sent thither. He had him well accompanied by 
many knights and squires of rank in England. 

The Count de Foix was unwilling his bastard son, Evan 
of Foix, should remain behind, and had him properly at- 
tended by knights and squires, as he wished him to keep 
his state grandly. Every one had taken care to send 
beforehand all he should want ; and those at the greatest 
distance from Genoa left their countries the middle of 
May, but it was about a month before all were assembled. 
The Genoese were well pleased on their arrival, and made 
handsome and rich presents to the chiefs, the better to 
secure their affections. As the knights arrived, they were 
posted adjoining each other, and, on being mustered by 
the marshals, amounted to fourteen hundred knights and 
squires. They were embarked on board of ships and gal- 

386 Fi^oissart 's Chron ides. 

leys, that had been properly equipped for the voyage, on 
St. John Baptist's Day, in the year of grace 1390. 

It was a beautiful sight to view this fleet, with the em- 
blazoned banners of the different lords glittering in the 
sun and fluttering in the wind : and to hear the minstrels 
and other musicians sounding their pipes, clarions, and 
trumpets, whose sounds were re-echoed back by the sea. 
When all were embarked, they cast anchor, and remained 
that night at the mouth of the harbor; but the servants 
and horses were left behind on shore. A horse worth fifty 
francs was on their embarkation sold for ten, as many of 
the knights and squires were uncertain when, or if ever, 
they should return, and the keep of five horses at Genoa 
was upward of a franc a day : they therefore, on depart- 
ing, made of them what money they could, but it was 
little enough. 

There were about three hundred galleys to transport the 
men at arms and archers, and upward of one hundred ves- 
sels for the purveyances and other necessaries. On the 
morrow, at daybreak, they weighed anchor, and rode coast- 
wise that and the succeeding night. The third day they 
made Port-fino, where they lay that night : at sunrise they 
rowed to Porto- Venere, and again cast anchor. The ensu- 
ing morning they weighed, and took to the deep, putting 
themselves under the protection of God and St. George. 
When they had passed the island of Elba, they encoun- 
tered a violent tempest, which drove them back by Gorgo- 
na, Sardinia, and Corsica, into the Gulf of Lyons, a posi- 
tion always dangerous ; but they could not avoid it, for the 
tempest was so violent, that the ablest mariner could not 
do any thing to prevent their running the utmost risk of 
destructioh : they waited therefore the will of God. This 
storm lasted a day and night, and dispersed the fleet. 

Froissart's Chronicles. 387 

When the weather became calm, and the sea tranquil, the 
pilots, who were acquainted with those seas, steered as 
directly as they could for the island of Commeres, which 
is but thirty miles from the town of Africa, whither they 
bent their course. The masters of the vessels had held a 
council before they entered the Gulf of Lyons, and deter- 
mined, that, should they part company, they would rendez- 
vous at the island of Commeres, and wait there until they 
were all assembled. This plan was adopted ; and it was 
upward of nine days before all were collected, so much 
had they been scattered. 

The island of Commeres, though not large, is very 
pleasant. The lords there refreshed themselves, and 
praised God for having all met again without essential loss 
or damage. When on the eve of departure, the French 
lords, who took the lead, held a council on their future 
proceedings, as they were now so near the port of Africa. 


The Christian Lords weigh Anchor, and leave the Island of 
Coming, in Order to lay Siege to the Town of Africa. — The 

Manner in which they conduct themselves. 

THEY addressed the masters of the galleys as follows : 
" Gentlemen, we are now on the nearest land to the 
strong town of Africa, whither, if it please God, we will 
go, and besiege it. We must therefore consult with you 
how we may enter the harbor and disembark. We pro- 
pose to send in advance our smaller vessels, called brigan- 
dines, to amuse the enemy, while we remain at the mouth 
of the harbor: on the followihg day we will at our leisure 

388 Froissarf s Chronicles. 

land, through God's grace, and encamp ourselves as near 
the town as possible, out of the reach of their bricoUes.* 
The Genoese crossbows shall be drawn up, and ready for 
defence or attack. We suppose that, on our debarkation, 
a multitude of your young squires will demand to be 
knighted, for increase of honor and advancement. In- 
struct them gently how they ought to act, for you are very 
capable of doing it ; and know, gentlemen, that we are 
well inclined to acquit ourselves handsomely toward you; 
and, to show our eagerness to annoy the enemy, we shall 
take every possible pains that this town of Africa may be 
won. It has done you too great damage to be longer en- 
dured, and is, besides, the key to the empire of Barbary 
and the surrounding kingdoms of Africa, Morocco, and 
Bugia. Should God, of his goodness, permit us to con- 
quer it, all the Saracens will tremble, as far as Nubia and 
Syria, and we shall be everywhere talked of. With the 
assistance of the princes of Christendom, who are the 
nearest to us, we may re-enforce it with men, and victual it 
again ; so that, if once we gain possession, it will become 
a place for all knights and squires to adventure themselves 
in arms against the enemies of God, and conquer their 
lands." — " My lords," replied the masters of the vessels, 
" we shall never pretend to teach you how to act, but give 
our opinions with all modesty and humility ; for you are 
too noble, wise, and valiant, for us to pretend to lay down 
rules for your conduct." The Lord de Coucy said, "We 
should, however, wish to have your opinions, for we have 
observed nothing but what is praiseworthy in you ; and, as 
it is you who have brought us hither, to accomplish deeds 
of arms, we shall never act without having your advice." 
Such were the conversations held in the presence of the 

* Machines for thiowina; stones. — Ed. 

Froissart's Chronicles. 389 

Duke of Bourbon, the Count d'Eu, and some of the great 
barons of France, with the captains of the Genoese ves- 
sels, before they sailed for the coast of Africa. 

When all was ready, and the men at arms had re-em- 
barked on board their galleys, with a good will to meet 
their enemies the Saracens, the admiral gave orders for 
the trumpets to sound, and the fleet to get under way. 
The sea was now calm, and the weather fine : it was a 
pleasure to see the rowers force their vessels through its 
smooth surface, which seemed to delight in bearing these 
Christians to the shores of the infidels. Their fleet was 
numerous and well ordered ; and it was a fine sight to 
view their various banners and pennons, emblazoned with 
their arms, fluttering with the gentle gales, and glittering 
in the sun. Late in the evening, the Christians saw the 
towers of Africa, as pointed out to them by the sailors, 
which, as they advanced, opened more to their view. 
Every one was rejoiced at this sight, and not without 
cause, as they had in part accomplished the object of their 
voyage. If the Christians, on thus seeing Africa, con- 
versed much concerning the war they were about to com- 
mence, the Saracens, who had so plainly observed them 
from their town, and were on the watch, did the same. 
They were astonished at the great number of vessels, of 
all descriptions, and concluded they had a very large army 
on board to besiege the town. They were not cast down 
with this, for they knew the place was strong, well forti- 
fied with towers, and plentifully stored with artillery and 

On their first noticing the fleet, they sounded, according 
to custom, a number of bells on the towers, to alarm and 
inform the country that an enemy was on the coast. There 
were encamped near the town a large body of barbarians 

3 90 Froissart 's Chron ides. 

and infidels, whom the kings of Tunis and Bugia had sent 
thither to defend the coast, and prevent the Christians 
from maldng any progress into tlie interior of the country. 
The noise of the trumpets and drums announced the 
arrival of the Christians ; and, in consequence, they 
formed their army according to their manner, and sent 
some of the ablest captains to the shore to observe the 
motions of the enemy, and the manner of their debarka- 
tion. They also posted their most expert men at arms on 
the towers and battlements of the town, that they might 
not be taken by surprise ; for it was strong enough to re- 
sist every thing but a long siege, if they were on their 

As I, John Froissart, the author of these Chronicles, 
was never in Africa, I sought all the information I could 
from those knights and squires who had been on this expe- 
dition, and made several journeys to Calais to learn the 
truth of all that passed. [Having inquired as to the size 
and form of the town of Africa, some who had been there 
figured it out to me, and said it was in the form of a bow, 
like to Calais, extending its arms toward the sea. This 
town of Africa, at the time the lords of France and other 
nations were before it with an anxious desire to win it, 
was wonderfully strong, surrounded with high walls at 
proper distances. The entrance of the harbor was defend- 
ed by a tower larger than the rest, on which was placed a 
bricolle to cast large stones and quarrels, with which it 
was well provided. 

When the Christians approached the harbor, the walls 
of the town seemed to be hung with cloths or tapestry, 
somewhat similar in appearance to coverlets of beds. 
They cast anchor about one league distant from the port, 
where they remained until the morrow. The night was 

Froissart's Chronicles. 391 

clear and serene, for it was the month of July, about Mag- 
dalen-tide ; and they made themselves comfortable, rejoi- 
cing that, through God's pleasure, they had so far succeed- 
ed as to have the town of Africa now before them. 

The Saracens, who >vere on the opposite shore watch- 
ing the Christian fie it, held this night a council on their 
future mode of proceeding, for they knew the town would 
be besieged. They thus conversed among themselves : 
"Our enemies are now arrived : they will, if they can, land, 
and lay siege to Africa, which is the key to the adjoining 
kingdoms. We must therefore consider well our plans for 
opposing them : otherwise we shall be greatly blamed, and 
especially if we should not at first dispute their landing." 
It was proposed by a valiant Saracen, called Mandifcr, 
to resist their landing, as being the most honorable ; and 
to oppose them instantly with their whole force, or they 
would probably have fault found with them. This was 
strongly supported by many, as it seemed the most coura- 
geous plan ; when an ancient Saracen began to speak, who 
had great influence among them, as he showed. This lord 
came from a town in Africa called Maldages, and his name 
was Bellius. He gave his opinion quite contrary to that 
of Mandifer, and supported it with the following reasons : 
"Gentlemen, we are sent hither to guard the coast, and 
defend this country ; but we have no orders from the 
kings of Tunis or of Bugia to attack our enemies without 
having maturely considered the consequences. What I 
have to propose, I will maintain by such reasons as these : 
First, you must suppose that this army of Christians has 
been long in preparation, and is provided with all things 
necessary. Their captains, you may also believe, arc i)cr- 
fect men at arms, as able in council as in the field, with 
the greatest ardor to perform deeds of arms. If we meet 

392 Froissarf s Chronicles. 

them on the shore, they will advance their Genoese cross- 
bows, for you may be assured they have brought numbers 
of them. It will be against them who have such excellent 
crossbows, that we must support the first attack ; and we 
are not armed, nor have we shields to guard us against 
their arrows. Our men, finding themselves wounded, will 
draw back, and refuse the combat, so that these Genoese 
will make good their landing in spite of us. Their men 
at arms, desirous of displaying their courage, will leap 
from their boats, and, observing our disorder, will attack 
us with lances, and gain a victory. Should this happen, 
the town of Africa is irrecoverably lost, for any thing we 
can do to prevent it. Those within will be so much dis- 
couraged by our defeat, that, before our men can be rallied, 
the place will be taken by storm or capitulation, and be so 
well guarded that we shall have the greatest difficulty to 
regain it. The French, and those with them, are very ex- 
pert and subtle in arms. I therefore maintain, that it will 
be more to our advantage that the enemy should be igno- 
rant of our force at the onset ; for at this moment we 
have not a sufficiency to offer them battle, though our 
strength is daily increasing. I advise, that we suffer them 
to disembark at their ease ; for, as they have no horses to 
advance into the country, they will remain where they 
land, suspicious of our intentions.] The town of Africa 
is not afraid of them, nor of t^. Jir attacks ; for it is toler- 
ably strong, and well provided with every thing. The air 
is now warm, and will be hotter. They will be exposed 
to the heat of the sun, while we shall be in the shade. 
Their provisions will be destroyed, without hopes of hav- 
ing a supply, if they make any long stay, and we shall 
have abundance from our own country : we will frequently 
beat up their quarters ; and, should they be unfortunate in 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 393 

these skirmishes, they will be worn down. We must avoid 
all general engagements, otherwise we cannot conquer 
them; but we shall do it by this plan, and trusting to the 
climate, which is contrary to the nature of their constitu- 
tions. [They will not have any re-enforcements, and we 
shall have many. The extreme heat of the sun, and the 
fatigue they will undergo from being always armed in fear 
of us, will very soon bring on disorders which will carry 
numbers to the grave ; and thus shall we be revenged 
without striking a blow.] Such is the plan I propose; 
and, if I knew of any better, I would lay it before you." 

All those in the council, who had been used to arms, 
adopted the advice the old Saracen lord had given. It 
was in consequence forbidden, under pain of death, for 
the army to attack or skirmish with the Christians on the 
sea-shore ; but they were ordered to remain quietly in their 
quarters, and suffer them to land and encamp themselves 
without any opposition. None dared infringe these orders. 
They sent a body of their archers into the town of Africa, 
to assist in its defence ; and never made any movement 
until the morrow, so that the country seemed uninhabited. 

The Christians having lain this night, as I have said, 
at anchor at the mouth of the harbor, made themselves 
ready the next day, which was a clear bright morning, for 
approaching the town, being very desirous to land. Trum- 
pets and clarions began to sound and make a loud noise 
on board the different galleys and ships. When it was 
about nine o'clock, and the Christians had drunk a cup, 
and partaken of soup made of Grecian or Malmsey wines, 
with which they had abundantly provided themselves, to 
cheer their hearts and raise their spirits, they began to 
execute the plan they had laid down while at the island. 
They sent, as it seems to me, some light vessels called 

394 Fi-'oissarf s Chronicles. 

brigandines, armed with bricolles and cannons, first to- 
ward the harbor. When they were properly drawn up 
in array, they entered the haven, and saluted the town 
with arrows and stones ; but the walls were hung with wet 
carpeting to deaden the blows. These brigandines entered 
the port without damage, and were followed by the galleys 
and other vessels in such handsome order as to make a 
pleasant show. In turning into the harbor, there was a 
large castle with towers, and on one larger than the rest 
was placed a bricolle, for the defence of the place, which 
was not idle, but threw quarrels among the fleet. On each 
of the towers on the walls was a bricolle which shot well ; 
and, to say the truth, the Saracens had laid in stores for a 
long time, from the expectation of a siege. 

When the Christians entered the port of Africa, to 
disembark, the weather was so beautiful, and their order 
so well preserved, that it was delightful to see it. Their 
trumpets and clarions made the air resound, and were 
echoed back by the waves. Many knights both from 
France and from other countries now displayed their ban- 
ners, and several knights were created ; the first of whom 
was John, Lord de Ligny, in Hainault : he was knighted 
by his cousin Sir Henry d'Antoing ; and the Lord de 
Ligny there first displayed his banner, which was embla- 
zoned with his arms on a field or, having a bend gules ; he 
was accompanied by his cousin-german the Lord d'Havreth 
in Hainault. All the knights and squires disembarked in 
view of the Saracens, on a Wednesday, the vigil of Mag- 
dalen Day, in the year of grace 1390, and, as they landed, 
encamped according to orders from the marshals. Thus 
they took possession of the land of their enemies, who, 
noticing their camp, could not avoid highly praising the 
good order of it. Those in the larger galleys, that could 

Froissart' s Chronicles. 395 

not lie near the shore, were put into boats, and conveyed 
to land, under the banner of Our Lady. The Saracens, 
both within and without the town, allowed them to land 
peaceably, for they were not in numbers sufficient to 
oppose them ; and the French advanced with displayed 
banners, on which were emblazoned their arms, to places 
marked out for their lodgings by the marshals. 

The Duke of Bourbon, as commander-in-chief, was 
lodged in the centre of his army, with all honor, and 
powerfully guarded. The device on his banner, powdered 
over with flowers-de-luce, was a figure of the Virgin Mary 
in white, seated in the centre, and an escutcheon of Bour- 
bon at her feet. I will name those lords of rank who were 
quartered on the right of the duke, looking toward the 
town : first Sir William de la Tremouille, and his brother, 
with a pennon ; the Lord de Bordenay, with a banner ; 
Sir Helion de Lignac, with a pennon ; the Lord de Tours, 
the same. Then were placed the Hainaulters, whose stand- 
ard bore the device of the Lord William of Hainault, at 
that time Count d'Ostrevant, eldest son of Duke Albert of 
Bavaria, Count of Holland, Hainault, and Zealand, which 
device was a harrow or, on a field gules. There was the 
Lord d'Havreth with his banner; the Lord de Ligny, with 
his ; and then the Lord Philip, Count d'Artois, with his 
banner ; the Lord de Mathefelon, with his banner ; the 
Lord de Calan, with a pennon ; the seneschal d'Eu, with 
the same; the Lord de Linieres, with a banner ; the Lord 
de Thim, with the same ; the Lord d'Ameval, with the 
same ; Sir Walter de Chastillon, with a pennon ; Sir John 
de Chateaumorant, with a banner ; the brother to the Mar- 
shal de Sancerre, with a pennon ; the Lord de Coucy, with 
his banner, and better supported than any except the 
Duke of Bourbon; the Lord de Licques, with a pennon; 

396 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

Sir Stephen de Sancerre, with the same ; and then the 
pennon of the King of France, blazoned with his device. 
Beside it was Sir John le Barrois, with his pennon or- 
namented with his arms ; Sir William Morles, with his 
banner ; the Lord de Longueval, with a pennon ; Sir John 
de Roye, with a banner ; the Lord de Bours, with a pen- 
non ; the Viscount d'Ausnay, with a banner; and Sir John 
de Vienne, Admiral of France, with his banner. 

Those on the left hand of the Duke of Bourbon were, 
the Lord d'Ausemont, with a banner ; Sir John Beaufort, 
bastard to the Duke of Lancaster, a banner ; Sir John le 
Bouteiller, an Englishman, a pennon ; Sir John de Crania, 
a banner ; the Souldich de I'Estrade, a pennon ; Sir John 
de Harcourt, a banner; the Lord Berald, Count de Cler- 
mont, and Dauphin of Auvergne, a banner, and with good 
array ; Sir Hugh Dauphin, his brother, a pennon ; the 
Lord de Berthencourt, a pennon ; the Lord de Pierre Buf- 
fiere, a banner ; the Lord de St. Semere, a banner ; the 
Lord de Louvart, marshal of the army, a pennon ; the 
Begue de Beausse, a pennon ; the Lord de Louvy, a ban- 
ner ; Sir Gerard de Louvy, his brother, a pennon ; the 
Lord de Saint-Germain, a banner ; and then the pennon 
on a standard, with the device of the Duke of Bourbon ; 
the Lord Philip de Bar, a banner ; Sir Lewis de Poitiers, 
a pennon ; Sir Robert de Calobre, the same ; the Viscount 
de Les, a banner ; the Lord de Nogent, the same ; the 
Lord de Villeneuve, a pennon ; Sir William de Moulin, 
the same ; the Lord de Longwy, a pennon ; Sir Angorget 
d'Amboise, the same ; Sir Alain de la Champaigne, a pen- 

All these banners and pennons that I have named were 
placed in front of the camp, facing the town of Africa. 
But there were many knights and squires, of great cour- 

Froissarfs Chro7iicles. 397 

age and ability, who were quartered in the fields, whom I 
cannot name ; and, if I could, it would take up too much 
space, for they were in the whole fourteen thousand, all 
gentlemen. This was a handsome army, able to perform 
many gallant deeds, and support a hard warfare, if the 
Saracens had ventured an attack, which they did not, con- 
tenting themselves this day with throwing large bolts, not 
meaning to act contrary to their plan. When the Chris- 
tians were encamped, it was necessary for them to be care- 
ful of the provision they had brought ; for they could not 
now venture to forage in this country, nor collect wood 
nor boughs for huts, as they would have run many risks 
by foolishly venturing themselves for such objects. 

The knights were lodged under tents and pavilions of 
cloth, which they had procured at Genoa. The Genoese 
crossbows formed two wings, enclosing within them the 
principal lords ; and, from their numbers, they occupied 
a great deal of ground, turning toward the sea-shore. 
All their provision was on board the vessels, and there 
were boats continually employed in bringing different arti- 
cles from them, as they were wanted. When the inhabit- 
ants of the neighboring islands, such as Sicily and others, 
as well as those in the kingdom of Naples, la Puglia, and 
Calabria, heard the Christians were laying siege to Africa, 
they exerted themselves to supply them with every sort of 
provision : some from a desire of gain, others from affec- 
tion to the Genoese. However, these purveyances did 
not come regularly ; for at times the supply was most 
abundant, at others they were in great distress from 

;98 Froissarfs Chronicles. 


The Conduct of the Saracens during the Siege of the Town of 
Africa. --They SEND to demand from the French the Cause of 


I WILL say something" of the Saracens, for it is but 
just they should be equally spoken of as the Chris- 
tians, that the truth may be more apparent. You must 
know that these infidels had, for a long time, been men- 
aced by the Genoese, and were expecting the town of 
Africa to be besieged, in which they were not disappointed. 
They had made preparations for resistance, when they 
heard of the arrival of the Christian fleet, an event that 
had been long looked for by the neighboring nations ; for 
they are not prudent nor well advised, who fear not their 
enemies, however small they may be. The Saracens, how- 
ever, do not hold the Christians cheap : on the contrary, 
they consider them as men of courage and enterprise, 
and much fear them. The better to resist their enemies, 
they assembled the most experienced warriors from the 
kingdoms of Bugia, Morocco, and Tunis, in which .last 
the town of Africa is situated, and encamped on the 
downs near the sea-shore. They took advantage of a large 
and thick wood in their rear, to avoid any danger from 
ambuscades or skirmishes on that side. The Saracens 
showed much ability in thus posting themselves. They 
amounted, according to the estimate of able men at arms, 
to thirty thousand archers and ten thousand horse. 
Others thought they were more ; but their exact numbers 
were unknown, for the Christians supposed many were 

Froissarf s Chronicles. 399 

lodged in the wood. They were very numerous, for they 
were in their own country, and could come and go from 
their army at their pleasure without danger. They re- 
ceived continual supplies of fresh provision, which was 
brought on the backs of camels. 

The second day after the Christians had landed, the 
Saracens, about dawn, came to attack the camp; Sir Henr)' 
d'Antoing having the command of the guard of two hun- 
dred men at arms and one thousand Genoese cross bows. 
The skirmish lasted more than two hours, and many gal- 
lant deeds were done in shooting and thrusting the lance, 
for there was not any engagement with the sword hand to 
hand. The Saracens did not foolhardily risk themselves, 
but fought with valor and more prudence than the Chris- 
tians. When they had skirmished some time, the Saracens 
retreated ; for the army began to be in motion, and some 
of the French barons had come to witness the action, and 
observe the manner of their enemies' fighting, that they 
might be prepared to meet them another time. The Sara- 
cens retired to their camp, as did the Christians to theirs ; 
but, during the whole time of this siege of Africa, the 
Christians were never left quiet, for their camp was every 
night or morning attacked by the enemy. 

Among the Saracens was a young knight, called Aga- 
dinquor Oliferne, excellently mounted on a beautiful cours- 
er, which he managed as he willed, and which, when he 
galloped, seemed to fly with him. From his gallantry he 
showed he was a good man at arms ; and when he rode 
abroad he had with him three javelins, well feathered and 
pointed, which he dexterously flung, according to the cus- 
tom of his country. He was completely armed in black, 
and had a kind of white napkin wrapped round his head. 
His seat on horseback was graceful ; and, from the vigor 

400 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

and gallantry of his actions, the Christians judged he was 
excited thereto by his affection to a young lady of the 
country. True it is, he most sincerely loved the daughter 
of the King of Tunis, who, according to the report of 
some Genoese merchants who had seen her, was very 
handsome, and the heiress of his kingdom. This knight 
called Agadinquor was the son of Duke Oliferne ; but I 
know not if he ever married this lady. I heard that dur- 
ing the siege he performed many handsome feats of arms, 
to testify his love, which the French knights saw with 
pleasure, and would willingly have surrounded him ; but 
he rode so good a horse, and had him so well in hand, that 
all their efforts were vain. The Christian lords were very 
anxious to make some Saracens prisoners, to learn from 
them the real state of their army; but they could not suc- 
ceed, and, having noticed their intent, the Saracen chiefs 
gave orders accordingly. The Saracens were much afraid 
of the Genoese crossbows : they shielded themselves as 
well as they could against their bolts, but they are not 
armed so strongly as the Christians ; for they know not 
the art to forge armor like theirs, nor have they workmen 
who could make such. Iron and steel are not common 
among them ; and they wear light targets hanging on their 
necks, covered with boiled leather from Cappadocia, that 
no spear can penetrate if the leather has not been over- 
boiled. Their manner of fighting, according to what I 
heard, was to advance on the Christians, and shoot a vol- 
ley of arrows at the Genoese the moment the.y made their 
appearance, and then to fall down under shelter of their 
shields, by which they avoided the bolts from the cross- 
bows that went over them : they then rose, and either 
shot more arrows, or launched their javelins with much 

Froissart's Chronicles. 401 

Thus, for the space of nine weeks that the siege lasted, 
were continual skirmishes made ; and on both sides many- 
were killed and wounded, more especially such as ven- 
tured too rashly. The Christians imitated the Saracens by 
avoiding a close combat ; and the lords from France and 
other countries took delight in their manner of fighting, 
for, to say the truth, novelty is always pleasing. The 
young lords of these infidels were greatly struck with the 
glittering armor and emblazoned banners and pennons of 
their enemies ; and, when returned to their camp, they 
conversed much about them. They were, however, aston- 
ished at one thing, which I will now relate. The Sara- 
cens within the town of Africa were anxious to know on 
what pretence the Christians had come with so large an 
army to make war on them ; and to learn the reasons 
they resolved, as I was told, in council, to send a person 
that could speak Genoese, and gave him the following 
orders : " Go and take the road to the camp of the Chris- 
tians [and manage, before thou returnest, to speak with 
some lords in their army], and demand in our name why 
they have brought so powerful a force against us, and 
taken possession of the lands of the King of Africa, who 
has not done any thing to offend them. True it is, that 
in former times we were at war with the Genoese, but 
that should no way concern them ; for they come from 
very distant countries, and the Genoese are our neighbors. 
Our custom has been, excepting in times of truce, to seize 
mutually all we can from each other." 

Having received these instructions, the messenger de- 
parted, and rode on to the camp. The first person he met 
was a Genoese, to whom he said that he was sent by the 
Saracens to speak with some baron from France. The 
Genoese to whom he had addressed himself was called 

402 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

Antonio Marchi, a centurion of crossbows, who took him 
under his care, to his great joy, and conducted him in- 
stantly to the Duke of Bourbon and the Lord de Coucy. 
They both listened very attentively, and what they did not 
understand the centurion interpreted in very good French. 
When he had finished all he had been ordered to say, 
he asked for an answer. The French lords told him he 
should have one as soon as they had considered the 
purport of his message. Twelve of the greatest barons of 
the army assembled in the Duke of Bourbon's tent ; and, 
the messenger and interpreter being called in, the last was 
ordered to tell him from the lords present, " That in con- 
sequence of their ancestors having crucified and put to 
death the Son of God, called Jesus Christ, a true prophet, 
without any cause or just reason, they were come to retali- 
ate on them for this infamous and unjust judgment. 
Secondly, they were unbaptized, and infidels in the faith 
to the holy Virgin, mother of Jesus Christ, and had no 
creed of their own. For these and other causes they held 
the Saracens and their whole sect as enemies, and were 
come to revenge the injuries they had done to their God 
and faith, and would to this effect daily exert themselves 
to the utmost of their power." When the messenger had 
received this answer, he departed from the army unmo- 
lested, and returned to report to his masters what you 
have just read. The Saracens laughed heartily at hearing 
it, and said they made assertions without proofs ; for it was 
the Jews who had crucified Jesus Christ, and not they. 
Things remained on the former footing : the siege was 
continued, and each arniy on its guard. 

Froissarf s Chronicles. 403 

Some Miracles are shown to the Saracens as they attempt to 

ING THE Siege. — The Climate becomes unwholesome, and other 
Accidents befall the Besiegers. 

SHORTLY after this message, the Saracens determined 
in council to remain quiet for seven or eight days, 
and during that time neither to skirmish nor any way to 
annoy the Christians, but, when they should think them- 
selves in perfect security, to fall on their camp like a 
deluge. This was adopted ; and the ninth evening, a 
little before midnight, they secretly armed their men with 
their accustomed arms, and marched silently in a compact 
body toward the Christian camp. They had proposed 
making a severe attack on the opposite quarter to the 
main guard, and would have succeeded in their mischiev- 
ous attempt if God had not watched over and preserved 
them by miracles, as I will now relate. As the Saracens 
approached, they saw before them a company of ladies 
dressed in white ; one of whom, their leader, was incom- 
parably more beautiful than the rest, and bore in front a 
white flag having a vermilion cross in the centre. The 
Saracens were so greatly terrified at this vision, that they 
lost all strength and inclination to proceed, and stood still, 
these ladies keeping steadily before them. The Genoese 
crossbows had brought with them a dog, as I heard, from 
beyond sea; but whence, no one could tell, nor did he 
belong to any particular person. This dog had been very 
useful to them ; for the Saracens never came to skirmish, 
but by his noise he awakened the army ; and as every one 

404 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

now knew that whenever the dog barked, the Saracens 
were come or on their road, they prepared themselves in- 
stantly. In co'nsequence of this the Genoese called him 
the dog of Our Lady. This night the dog was not idle, 
but made a louder noise than usual, and ran first to the 
main guard, which was under the command of the Lord 
de Torcy, a Norman, and Sir Henry d'Antoing. As 
during the night all sounds are more easily heard, the 
whole army was in motion, and properly prepared to re- 
ceive the Saracens, who they knew were approaching. 

This was the fact ; but the Virgin Mary and her com- 
pany, having the Christians under their care, watched over 
them ; and this night they received no harm, for the Sara- 
cens were afraid to advance, and returned the way they 
had come. The Christians were more attentive to their 
future guards. The Saracen knights and squires within 
the town were much cast down at the sight they had seen, 
more especially those who were advanced near this com- 
pany of ladies ; while, on the other hand, the Christians 
were greatly exerting themselves to win the place, w^hich 
was courageously defended. At this period the weather 
was exceedingly hot ; for it was the month of August, 
when the sun is in its greatest force, and that country 
was warmer than France, from being nearer the sun, and 
from the heat of the sands. The wines the besiegers 
were supplied with, from La Puglia and Calabria, were 
fiery, and hurtful to the constitutions of the French, 
many of whom suffered severely by fevers from the heat- 
ing quality of their liquors. I know not how the Chris- 
tians were enabled to bear the fatigues in such a climate, 
where sweet water was difficult to be had. They, how- 
ever, had much resource in the wells they dug, for there 
were upward of two hundred sunk through the sands 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 405 

along the shore ; but at times even this water was muddy 
and heated. They were frequently distressed for pro- 
vision, for the supply was irregular from Sicily and the 
other islands : at times they had abundance, at other times 
they were in want. The healthy comforted the sick, and 
those who had provision shared it with such as had none ; 
for in this campaign they were all as brothers. The Lord 
de Coucy, in particular, was beloved by every gentleman : 
he was kind to all, and behaved himself by far more gra- 
ciously in all respects than the Duke of Bourbon, who was 
proud and haughty, and never conversed with the knights 
and squires from foreign countries in the same agreeable 
manner the Lord de Coucy did. 

The Duke was accustomed to sit cross-legged the 
greater part of the day before his pavilion ; and those 
who had any thing to say to him were obliged to make 
many reverences, and address him through the means of 
a third person. He was indifferent whether the poorer 
knights and squires were well or ill at their ease : this the 
Lord de Coucy always inquired into, and by it gained 
great popularity. It was told me by some foreign knights 
who had been there, that, had the Lord de Coucy been 
commander-in-chief instead of the Duke of Bourbon, the 
success would have been very different ; for many attacks 
on the town of Africa were frustrated by the pride and 
tault of the Duke of Bourbon : several thought it would 
have been taken if it had not been for him. 

This siege lasted, by an exact account, sixty-one days, 
during which many were the skirmishes before the town 
and at the barriers : they were well defended, for the 
flower of the infidel chivalry was in the town. The 
Christians said among themselves, " If we could gain this 
place by storm or otherwise, and strongly re-enforce and 

4o6 Froiss art's Chronicles. 

victual it during the winter, a large body of our country- 
men might then come hither in the spring, and gain a 
footing in the kingdoms of Barbary and Tunis, which 
would encourage the Christians to cross the sea annually, 
and extend their conquests." — "Would to God it were 
so ! " others replied ; "for the knights now here would then 
be comfortably lodged, and every day if they pleased they 
might have deeds of arms." The besieged were alarmed 
at the obstinacy of their attacks, and redoubled their 
guards. The great heat, however, did more for them 
than all the rest, added to the uncertainty of being at- 
tacked ; for the policy of the Saracens was to keep them 
in continual alarms. They were almost burnt up when in 
armor ; and it was wonderful that any escaped death, for 
during the month of August the air was suffocating. An 
extraordinary accident happened, which, if it had lasted 
any time, must have destroyed them all. During one 
week, from the heat and corruption of the air, there were 
such wonderful swarms of flies, the army was covered 
with them. The men knew not how to rid themselves of 
these troublesome guests, which multiplied daily, to their 
great astonishment ; but through the grace of God, and 
the Virgin Mary, to whom they were devoted, a remedy 
was found in a thunder and hail storm, that fell with great 
violence, and destroyed all the flies. The air, by this 
storm, was much cooled, and the army got to be in better 
health than it had been for some time. 

Knights who are on such expeditions must cheerfully 
put up with what weather may happen, for they cannot 
have it according to their wishes ; and, when any one falls 
sick, he must be nursed to his recovery or to his death. 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 407 


A Challenge is sent by the Saracens to offer Combat of ten 

MENT. — The Town of Africa is stormed, but unsuccessfully, and 

WITH the loss of MANY WORTHY MeN. 

THE besiegers and their enemies studied day and 
night how they could most effectually annoy each 
other. Agadinquor Oliferne, Madifer de Tunis, Belins 
Maldages, and Brahadin de Bugia, and some other Sara- 
cens, consulted together, and said, " Here are our enemies 
the Christians encamped before us, and we cannot defeat 
them. They are so few in number when compared to us, 
that they must be well advised by their able captains ; for 
in all our skirmishes we have never been able to make 
one knight prisoner. If we could capture one or two of 
their leaders, we should acquire fame, and learn from them 
the state of their army and what are their intentions. Let 
us now consider how we may accomplish this." Agadin- 
quor replied, "Though I am the youngest, I wish to speak 
first." — "We agree to it," said the others. "By my 
faith," continued he, "I am very desirous of engaging 
them ; and I think, if I were matched in equal combat with 
one of my size, I should conquer him. If you will there- 
fore select ten valiant men, I will challenge the Christians 
to send the same number to fight with us. We have jus- 
tice on our side in this war, for they have quarrelled with 
us without reason ; and this right, and the courage I feel, 
induce me to believe that we shall have the victory." Madi- 
fer de Tunis, who was a very valiant man, said, " Agadin- 

4o8 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

quor, what yoa have proposed is much to your honor. To- 
morrow, if you please, you shall ride as our chief toward 
the camp of the Christians, taking an interpreter with you, 
and make a signal that you have something to say. If 
you be well received by them, propose your combat of ten 
against ten. We shall then hear what answer they give ; 
and, though I believe the offer will be accepted, we must 
take good counsel how we proceed against these Chris- 
tians, whom we consider as more valiant than ourselves." 

This being determined on, they retired to rest. On the 
morrow, as usual, they advanced to skirmish. ; but Agadin- 
quor rode on at some distance in front with his interpre- 
ter. The day was bright and clear, and a little after sun- 
rise the Saracens were ready for battle. Sir Guy and Sir 
William de la Tremouille had commanded the guard of 
the night, and were on the point of retiring, when the 
Saracens appeared in sight about three bowshots distant. 
Agadinquor and his interpreter advanced toward one of 
the wings, and made signs to give notice that he wanted 
to parley with some one. By accident he came near the 
pennon of a good squire at arms called Affrenal, who, no- 
ticing his signs, rode forward a pace, and told his men to 
remain as they were, "for that he would go and see what 
the Saracen wanted : he has an interpreter with him, and 
is probably come to make some proposition." His men 
remained steady, and he rode toward the Saracen. 

When they were near each other, the interpreter said, 
" Christian, are you a gentleman, of name in arms, and 
ready to answer what shall be asked of you .-• " — "Yes," 
replied Affrenal, "I am : speak what you please, it shall 
be answered." — "Well," said the interpreter, "here is a 
noble man of our country who demands to combat with 
you bodily ; and, if you would like to increase the number 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 409 

to ten, he will bring as many of his friends to meet you. 
The cause for the challenge is this : They maintain, that 
their faith is more perfect than yours ; for it has contin- 
ued since the beginning of the world, when it was written 
down, and that your faith has been introduced by a mor- 
tal, whom the Jews hung and crucified." — "Ho!" inter- 
rupted Affrenal, "be silent on these matters, for it does 
not become such as thee to dispute concerning them ; but 
tell the Saracen, who has ordered thee to speak, to swear 
on his faith that such a combat shall take place, and he 
shall be gratified within four hours. Let him bring ten 
gentlemen, and of name in arms, on his side, and I will 
bring as many to meet him." The interpreter related to 
the Saracen the words that had passed, who seemed much 
rejoiced thereat, and pledged himself for the combat. 

This being done, each returned to his friends ; but the 
news had already been carried to Sir Guy and to Sir Wil- 
liam de la Tremouille, who, meeting Affrenal, demanded 
how he had settled matters with the Saracen. Affrenal 
related what you have heard, and that he had accepted the 
challenge. The two knights were well pleased, and said, 
" Affrenal, go and speak to others, for we will be of 
your number ten." He replied, " God assist us ! I fancy 
I shall find plenty ready to fight the Saracens." Shortly 
after, Affrenal met the Lord de Thim, to whom he told 
what had passed, and asked if he would make one. The 
Lord de Thim willingly accepted the offer; and of all 
those to whom Affrenal related it, he might, if he pleased, 
have had a hundred instead of ten. Sir Boucicaut the 
younger accepted it with great courage, as did Sir Hclion 
de Lignac, Sir John Russel, an Englishman, Sir John 
Harpedone, Alain Boudet, and Bouchet. When the num- 
ber of ten was completed, they retired to their lodgings, 

4IO Froissarfs Chronicles. 

to prepare and arm themselves. When the news of this 
combat was spread through the army, and the names of 
the ten were told, the knights and squires said, " They are 
lucky fellows, thus to have such a gallant feat of arms fall 
to their lot." — "Would to Heaven," added many, "that 
we were of the ten ! " All the knights and squires 
seemed to rejoice at this event, except the Lord de Coucy. 
I believe the Lord de Thim was a dependent on, or of the 
company of, the Lord de Coucy ; for, when he repaired to 
his tent to arm, he found him there, and acknowledged 
him for his lord. He related to him the challenge of the 
Saracen, and that he had accepted being one of the ten. 
All present were loud in praise of it, except the Lord de 
Coucy, who said, " Hold your tongues, you youngsters, 
who as yet know nothing of the world, and who never 
consider consequences, but always applaud folly in prefer- 
ence to good. I see no advantage in this combat, for 
many reasons : one is, that ten noble and distinguished 
gentlemen are about to fight with ten Saracens. How do 
we know if their opponents are gentlemen } They may, 
if they choose, bring to the combat ten varlets, or knaves ; 
and, if they are defeated, what is the gain } We shall not 
the sooner win the town of Africa, but by it risk very 
valuable lives. Perhaps they may form an ambuscade, and, 
while our friends are on the plain waiting for their oppo- 
nents, surround them and carry them off, by which we 
shall be greatly weakened. I therefore say, that Affrenal 
has not wisely managed this matter ; and, when he first 
met the Saracen, he should have otherwise answered, and 
said, ' I am not the commander-in-chief of our army, but 
one of the least in it ; and you Saracen, who address your- 
self to me, and blame our faith, are not qualified to discuss 
such matters, nor have you well addressed yourself. I 

Fro issa rt 's Ch ron ides. 4 1 1 

will conduct you to my lords, and assure you, on my life, 
that no harm befall you in going or in returning, for my 
lords will cheerfully listen to you.' He should then have 
led him to the Duke of Bourbon and the council of war, 
when his proposal would have been heard and discussed at 
leisure, his intentions been known, and answers made 
according as they should think the matter deserved. 
Such a combat should never be undertaken but after great 
deliberation, especially with enemies like to those we are 
engaged with. And when it had been agreed on, and the 
names and qualities of each combatant should be declared, 
we would then have selected proper persons to meet 
them, and proper securities would have been required 
from the Saracens for the uninterrupted performance of 
the combat, and a due observance of the articles. If 
matters had been thus managed, Lord of Thim, I think it 
would have been better. It would be well if it could be 
put on this footing ; and I will speak to the Duke of Bour- 
bon and the principal barons in the army, and hear what 
they shall say on the subject." The Lord de Coucy then 
departed for the tent of the Duke of Bourbon, where 
the barons were assembled, as they had heard of this 
challenge, to consider what might be the probable event 
of it. Although the Lord de Coucy had intended his 
speech to the Lord de Thim as advice for his benefit, he 
did not the less arm himself: when fully equipped, he 
went with his companions, who were completely armed, 
and in good array, with Sir Guy de la Tremouille at their 
head, to meet the Saracens. 

During this there was conversation on the subject be- 
tween the lords in the tent of the Duke of Bourbon : 
many thought the accepting such a challenge improper, 
and supported the opinion of the Lord de Coucy, who said 

412 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

it ought to have been ordered otherwise. But some, and in 
particular the Lord Philip d'Artois, Count d'Eu, and the 
Lord Philip de Bar, said, " Since the challenge has been 
accepted by our knights, they would be disgraced were the 
combat now broken off ; and in the name of God and Our 
Lady let them accomplish it the best manner they can." 
This wa& adopted ; for it was now too far advanced to be 
stopped. It was therefore ordered to draw out the whole 
army properly arrayed, that, if the Saracens had formed 
any bad designs, they might be prepared to meet them. 
Every one, therefore, made himself ready : the whole were 
drawn up, as if for instant combat, the Genoese cross- 
bows on one side, and the knights and squires on the 
other ; each lord under his own banner or pennon embla- 
zoned with his arms. It was a fine sight to view the army 
thus displayed ; and they showed great eagerness to at- 
tack the Saracens. 

The ten knights and squires were advanced on the plain 
waiting for their opponents. But they came not, nor 
showed any appearance of so doing ; for, when they saw 
the Christian army so handsomely drawn out in battle- 
array, they were afraid to advance, though they were 
thrice their numbers. At times they sent horsemen, well 
mounted, to ride near their army, observe its disposition, 
and then gallop back; which was solely done through 
malice, to annoy the Christians. 

This was the hottest day they felt, and it was so ex- 
tremely oppressive that the most active among them were 
almost stifled in their armor : they had never suffered so 
much before ; and yet they remained expecting the ten 
Saracens, but in vain, for they never heard a word from 
them. The army was ordered to attack the town of 
Africa, since they were prepared, and thus pass the day ; 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 413 

and the ten champions, in regard to their honor, were to 
remain on their ground to the evening. 

The knights and squires advanced with great alacrity 
to the attack of the town. But they were sorely op- 
pressed with the heat, and, had the Saracens known their 
situation, they might have done them much damage ; 
probably they might even have raised the siege, and ob- 
tained a complete victory, for the Christians were exceed- 
ingly weakened and worn down. True it is, they gained 
by storm the wall of the first enclosure, but no one inhab- 
ited that part ; and the enemy retired within their second 
line of defence, skirmishing as they retreated, and without 
any great loss. The Christians paid dear for an inconsid- 
erable advantage : the heat of the sun and its reflection 
on the sands, added to the fatigue of fighting, which lasted 
until evening, caused the death of several valiant knights 
and squires ; the more the pity. 

Now consider how great was this loss ; and, had the 
advice of the gallant Lord de Coucy been followed, it 
would not have happened, for the army would have re- 
mained quietly in its camp as it had hitherto done. The 
whole army was dismayed at it, and each bewailed the 
loss of his friend. They retired late to their camp, and 
kept a stronger guard than usual during the night, for 
fear of the Saracens. It passed, however, without further 
accident, and more prudent arrangements were made. 
The Saracens were ignorant of what their enemies had 
suffered : had they known it, they would have had a great 
advantage over them ; but they were in dread of the Chris- 
tians, and never ventured to attack them but in skirmishes, 
retreating after one or two charges. The person among 
them who had shown the most courage was Agadinquor 
01 if erne. He was enamoured with the daughter of the 

414 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

King of .Tunis, and, in compliment to her, was eager to 
perform brilliant actions. 

Thus was the siege of Africa continued ; but the rela- 
tions and friends of the knights and squires who had gone 
thither, from France and other countries, received no in- 
telligence, nor knew more of them than if they were dead. 
They were so much alarmed at not having any news of 
them, that many processions were made in England, 
France, and Hainault, to the churches, to pray God that 
he would bring them back in safety to their several homes. 
The intention of the Christians was to remain before the 
town of Africa, until they should have conquered it by 
storm, treaty, or famine. 


The Siege of Africa is raised. — The Cause of it. — The Knights 
AND Squires return to their own Countries. 

YOU have before heard what pains the Christians took 
to conquer the town of Africa ; for they thought if 
they succeeded they should gain renown, and be able to 
withstand, during the winter, all the forces the infidels 
could bring against them, until they should be re-enforced 
from Europe, especially by the King of France, who was 
young and fond of arms ; and there were still two years 
to run of the truce with England. The Christians had 
therefore laid siege to Africa, as being the most conven- 
ient entrance into Barbary. The infidels, suspicious of 
such being their intentions, well victualled the place, and 
re-enforced it with a new garrison, the better to guard it. 
The sieofe still continued, althouerh, after the before- 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 415 

mentioned loss on the part of the Christians, little advan- 
tage was gained, and the men at arms were greatly dis- 
couraged ; for they could not obtain any opportunity of 
changing the tiresomeness of their situation, and of reven- 
ging themselves on the enemy. Many, in consequence, 
began to murmur, and say, " We remain here in vain, for, 
if we do nothing more effectual than skirmishing, we shall 
never gain the town : if by accident we kill one infidel by 
our arrows, they supply his place with ten more, as they 
are in their own country, and have provision and stores in 
abundance, while ours are brought with much difficulty 
and uncertainty. What will become of us if we stay 
longer } The cold nights of winter freeze and benumb us 
to death. We shall be in a most disagreeable state, for 
many reasons : First, at that time of the year the sea will 
be so tempestuous, no one will venture on it. We have 
now but eight days' provision ; and should the stormy 
weather set in, and prevent any vessels arriving, we must 
inevitably perish. Secondly, suppose we have provision 
and stores in plenty, how can the army support for so long 
a time the fatigue of a regular guard .? The danger will 
be too great ; for the enemy is on his own ground, and 
well acquainted with the country, and may attack us in 
the night-season, as we have already seen, and do us 
infinite damage. Thirdly, should we be infected with any 
disorder, from want of better air and fresh provision, it 
may be contagious, and we shall drop off one after another, 
for we have not any remedies to guard against such a mis- 
fortune. Besides, should the Genoese, who are a treacher- 
ous race, wish to return without us, they might embark in 
the night-time; and when once on board their vessels we 
could not prevent them, and they would leave us here to 
pay the reckoning. It will be right that we remonstrate 

4i6 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

with our lords, who are enjoying their ease, on these our 
suspicions ; for the Genoese do not conceal their opinions 
of us. Some of their talkers have said to our men, * You 
Frenchmen are odd men at arms : when we sailed from 
Genoa, we thought you would have conquered this town 
of Africa within a weelc or a fortnight after your landing ; 
but we have been here nearly two months, and nothing 
has been done : by the assaults and skirmishes you make, 
the town need not fear you these two years ; and, at the 
rate you go on, you will never conquer the kingdoms of 
Tunis or Africa.' " 

The Genoese had so frequently held this language to 
the varlets and others of the army, that it reached the 
ears of their lords, and was repeated to the Lord de 
Coucy, who was wise and prudent, and to whom the whole 
army looked up. He considered a while, and then said to 
himself, " The conversations of these Genoese are but 
too well founded in truth : to put a stop to them, a full 
assembly of the principal knights must be held, to con- 
sider how we are to proceed, for winter is fast approach- 
ing." At this council, which was held in the Duke of 
Bourbon's tent, various plans were proposed ; but the con- 
clusion was, that they would, for this season, break up the 
siege, and every person should return home the way he 
had come. The chief lords secretly made preparations 
accordingly, and, calling to them the masters of the gal- 
leys and other vessels, acquainted them with their inten- 
tions. The captains were much surprised, and said, " My 
lords, do not harbor any suspicions of us ; for we are 
pledged to you by our honor and oaths, and we will most 
loyally and honestly acquit ourselves. Had we pleased, 
we might have accepted the favorable offers that were 
made us by the Africans ; but we refused to enter into 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 417 

any treaty with them, from our attachments and engage- 
ments to you." 

" We have no doubts of you, gentlemen," replied the 
Lord de Coucy, " for we look on you as loyal and valiant 
men. But we have considered our situation : winter is at 
hand, and we have a scarcity of provision. Should it be 
God's good pleasure that we return to France, we will 
inform the king, who is young and fond of war, of the 
state of this country. At this moment he knows not 
where to employ his force ; for he and the King of Eng- 
land are at peace. He is unhappy when idle ; and we 
shall advise him to undertake an expedition hither, as 
well to have the pleasure of meeting the King of Sicily as 
to conquer this country from the Saracens. Prepare and 
make ready your galleys, for we shall leave this coast in a 
very few days." The Genoese were not well pleased with 
the French lords for thus breaking up the siege of the 
town of Africa; but, as they could not amend it, they 
were forced to bear with it as well as they could. 

There was a rumor current in the Christian camp, that 
the Genoese were treating with the Saracens to betray 
and deliver up to them the remainder of the army. It 
was firmly believed by many ; and they said, " Our princi- 
pal commanders, the Duke of Bourbon, the Dauphin of 
Auvergne, the Lord de Coucy, Sir Guy de la Tremouille, 
Sir Philip de Bar, and Sir John de Vicnne, are well ac- 
quainted with this plot ; and for this reason they have 
determined suddenly to break up the siege." When it 
was proclaimed that every one was to embark on board 
the galleys or other vessels, in an orderly manner, you 
would have seen the varlcts in the greatest bustle packing 
up the purveyances of their different lords, and conveying 
them on board the ships which lay at anchor off the shore. 

41 8 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

When all things were embarked, the knights entered the 
galleys that had brought them thither. Many had bar- 
gained with the captains to carry them to Naples, others 
to Sicily, Cyprus, or Rhodes, thence to perform a pilgrim- 
age to Jerusalem. 

After having remained sixty-one days before the town 
of Africa, they broke up the siege, and set sail from that 
country in sight of the Saracens from the walls. This 
gave them such joy, that they sounded horns, and beat 
drums, and made so great a noise by their shoutings, as 
to be heard in the army of the Saracens. Several young 
knights mounted their horses, and galloped to the place 
where the camp had been, to see if they could find any 
thing left behind. Agadinquor d'Oliferne and Brahadin 
de Tunis were the first to arrive ; but the Christians had 
so completely cleared the camp, that there was nothing 
for them to carry away. The Saracens left their station 
to examine the camp, and remained more than two hours 
noticing the manner and form of it. They praised much 
their subtlety in sinking wells for fresh water, and, having 
for some time viewed the galleys under sail, they rettirned 
to visit their friends in the town of Africa. But they did 
not know the great losses the Christians had suffered until 
that day, and I will tell you by what accident it happened. 
In the camp of the Christians was found, lying on the 
ground, a Genoese varlet, who was too ill with a fever 
to be removed when the sailors sought for their men to 
embark on board the barges. The Saracens were de- 
lighted on finding this man, and ordered no harm to be 
done him. They carried him to the principal commanders 
of their army, and told them where they had found him. 
An interpreter was sent for, to examine him ; but at first 
he would not make any answers, considering himself 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 419 

as a dead man, and desiring they would put him out of 
his pain. The chiefs of the army, such as Agadinquor 
d'OHferne and Brahadin de Tunis, thought they should 
gain nothing by his death ; and to induce him to answer 
truly, without any equivocation, what questions should be 
put to him, they promised to spare his life, and send him 
safe and well to his own country on board of the first 
galley that should come thither from Genoa or Marseilles, 
with a present of a hundred golden besants. The varlet, 
hearing this, was freed from, his fears of death, and made 
easy, for he knew that these Saracens never break their 
words ; and, as every one dies as late as he can, he said 
to the interpreter, " Make them all swear on their faith to 
keep what they have promised, and I will truly answer 
whatever you may ask." The interpreter repeated this to 
the lords, who having consented to his demand, the varlet 
said, " Now ask what questions you please, and I will 
answer them." He was first asked who he was, and his 
place of residence, and replied, " Portevances [that his 
name was Simon Mollevin,' and son to a captain of a galley 
at Portevances "], then as to the commanders of the Chris- 
tian army. He named several ; for, having kept company 
and drank with the heralds, he had often heard their names 
mentioned, and remembered some of them. He was asked 
if he knew the reasons why they had so suddenly raised 
the siege, and departed. To this he made a very prudent 
reply, by saying he was ignorant of it, as he was not 
present at the council of war when it was determined on, 
and could only tell them what was the common report in 
the army. It was said that the French suspected the 
Genoese of a design to betray them ; but the Genoese 
declared this was false, and wrongfully imputed to them 
by the French. They had left the coast because they 

420 Froissarfs Chronicles, 

were afraid to winter in this country, and risk the loss of 
as many knights as they had once done. "Ask him," said- 
the lords to the interpreter, " to explain this." He re- 
plied, " So great was the loss on the day the combat was 
to have taken place between ten of your knights with ten 
of ours, that upward of sixty knights and squires, men of 
renown, died that day ; and it was solely on this account," 
as the Genoese said, " the siege was raised." The Saracen 
chiefs seemed very much pleased on hearing this, and 
made no further inquiries, but punctually kept the promise 
they had made him. 

On his return to Portevances and Genoa, he related all 
that had passed and what answers he had made, for which 
he was no way blamed. The Saracens said among them- 
selves, "We have been' very negligent in not taking better 
measures against this union of the French and Genoese ; 
for, though they have been this time unsuccessful against 
Africa, we must henceforward put our coast in a better 
state of defence (which we may easily do) ; and we must, 
in particular, guard the Straits of Morocco so strongly 
that neither the Genoese nor Venetians shall carry their 
merchandise to Flanders through this strait, without pay- 
ing so great a toll as to make all the world wonder thereat, 
and even then it shall be considered as a matter of favor." 

What these Africans had proposed, they executed ; and 
all the kingdoms to the south, west, and east, formed an 
alhance, such as Africa, Tunis, Bugia, Morocco, Benmarin, 
Tremegen, and Granada, with a resolution of well guarding 
their coasts, and equipping such a fleet of galleys as should 
make them masters of the sea, through hatred to the 
French and Genoese for their late siege of Africa. They 
interrupted so much the navigation of the Venetians and 
Genoese, that merchandise from Alexandria, Cairo, Da- 

Froissarfs Chronicles. 421 

mascus, Venice, Naples, or Genoa, was difficult to be had 
in Flanders for money ; and, in particular, every sort of 
spicery was enormously dear. 

Death and Burial of King Richard II. 

NOW consider, ye kings, lords, dukes, prelates, and 
earls, how very changeable the fortunes of this world 
are. This King Richard reigned twenty-two years in 
great prosperity, and with much splendor ; for there never 
was a king of England who expended such sums, by more 
than a hundred thousand florins, as King Richard did in 
keeping up his state, and his household establishments. 
I, John Froissart, canon and treasurer of Chimay, know it 
well ; for I witnessed and examined it during my residence 
with him for a quarter of a year. He made me good 
cheer, because in my youth I had been secretary to King 
Edward his grandfather, and the Lady Philippa of Hai- 
nault. Queen of England. When I took my leave of him 
at Windsor, he presented me, by one of his knights called 
Sir John Golofre, a silver gilt goblet, weighing full two 
marks, filled with a hundred nobles, which were then of 
service to me, and will be so as long as I live. I am bound 
to pray to God for him, and sorry am I to write of his 
death ; but, as I have dictated and augmented this history 
to the utmost of my power, it became necessary to men- 
tion it, that what became of him might be known. 

* Which I have selected for a concluding chapter because it is the last 
but one of Froissart's book, and brings before us several persons who have 
figured in the history, as dramatis persona: come forth at the last act of the 
play. Here are King Edward, with whose coronation my abridgment be- 
gins; Queen Philippa, whom we saw him marry; and King Richard II., 
whom we last beheld in front of Wat Tyler and his rebels. — Ed. 

422 Froissarfs Chronicles. 

When King Richard was born, his father was in Galicia, 
which Don Pedro had given him to conquer. A curious 
thing happened on my first going to England, which I 
have much thought on since. I was in the service of 
Queen Phihppa ; and when she accompanied King Edward 
and the royal family, to take leave of the Prince and Prin- 
cess of Wales, at Berkhampstead, on their departure for 
Aquitaine, I heard an ancient knight, in conversation with 
some ladies, say, " We have a book called Brut, that de- 
clares neither the Prince of Wales, Dukes of Clarence, 
York, nor Gloucester, will be kings of England, but the 
descendants of the Duke of Lancaster." Now I, the author 
of this history, say that, considering all things, these two 
knights. Sir Richard de Pontchardon, and Sir Bartholo- 
mew Burghersh, in what they said, were both in the right ; 
for all the world saw Richard reign for twenty-two years 
in England, and saw the crown then fall to the house of 
Lancaster. King Henry would never have been king, on 
the conditions you have heard, if his cousin Richard had 
treated him in the friendly manner he ought to have done. 
The Londoners took his part for the wrongs the king had 
done him and his children, whom they much compas- 

When the funeral car of King Richard had remained in 
Cheapside two hours, it was conducted forward, in the 
same order as before, out of the town. The four knights 
then mounted their horses, which were waiting for them, 
and continued their journey with the body until they came 
to a village, where there is a royal mansion, called Lang- 
ley, thirty miles from London. There King Richard was 
interred. God pardon his sins, and have mercy on his 
soul ! 




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relations to other Countries at Successive Epochs. Edited by the Rev. G. W. COX, 

M.A., Author of the "Aryan Mythology," "A History of Greece," 

etc., and jointly by CHARLES SANKEY, M.A., late 

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7olnme3 cJready issued in the " Epochs of Ancient History.' 
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The GREEKS and the PERSIANS. By the Rev. G. W. Cox, M.A., late Scholar 

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Assassination of Domitian. By the Rev. W. Wolfe Capes, M. A., Reader of Ancient 

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ATHENS. By the Rev. G. W. Cox, I\LA., late Scholar of Trinity College, Oxford : 

Joint Editor of the Series. With five Maps. 
Tho ROMAN TRIUMVIRATES. By the Very Rev. Charles Merivale, D.D., 

Dean of Ely. 
EARLY ROME, to its Capture by the Gauls. By Wilhei.m Thne, Author of 

" History of Rome." With Map. 
THE AGE OF THE ANTONINES. By Rev. W. Wolfe Capes, M.A. With 

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"Brief but comprehensive in its narrative, it is written in a plain and sinip'e style which 
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Tte ERyi of the PROTESTANT REVOLUTION. By F. Seebohm. Au&or of 
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FREDERICK the GREAT and t'le SEVEN YEARS' WAR. By F. W. Longman, 
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Now Complete. 


IS|p Illiisfrafpb SiiferBrB of Wonbprx, 



THE;*extraordinary success of the Illustuated Libuary of Wonders has encouraged 

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books. In the new series, which has just been finished, the size of the volumes is increased, 

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Ajnerican authors and scientists. Each i vol. i2mo. Price, $1.50. 



METEORS: Aereolites, Storms and 

Atmospheric Phenomena. With twenty- 
three illustrations by Leureton. 


Edited, with additions by Prof. Schele 
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Edited, with additions, by Dr. J. W. 
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with additions,by Prof. Schele De Vere, 
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Edited, with additions, by Maria 
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piled from the Note- Books of Distin- 
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STONES. A Popular Account of Gems. 
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Illustrated Library of Wonders, 

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Wonders of Acoustics no 

The Heavens 48 

The Human Body 43 

The Sublime in Nature . . .44 

Intelligence of Animals 54 

Thunder and Lightning.. . 39 

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Balloon Ascents 30 

Great Hunts 22 

Egypt 3,300 Years Ago — 40 
The Sun. By Gui!lemin..58 
Wonders of Heat 93 


Bottom of the Sea 68 

Italian Art 28 

European Art ii 

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Glass-makin g 63 

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